With one in four people suffering from mental health problems each year, and one in 10 young people, the challenges facing services are significant. This is a sizeable population and a range of responses is needed for their treatment, including community-based options.
The role of the voluntary and community organisations in supporting mental health conditions is well established. These organisations are rooted in their communities, are trusted by the people they work with, have a long history of social action and user-led interventions, sit outside of clinical settings, and are able to offer significant and effective levels of support.
The NHS five year forward view explicitly refers to the voluntary and charitable sector as having an important role in helping to meet key challenges facing the health and social care system, and it argues for a new relationship with patients and communities.