The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) – the result of intensive public engagement and co-produced by a wide-ranging Task Force - highlighted that one in five older people living in the community have depression, whilst that figure rises to 40% for those living in care homes.
Despite evidence to the contrary, some clinicians believe treatment is less effective in older people.
The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (MHFYFV) also drew attention to the fact that 75% of the people coming into contact with specialist mental health and learning disability services received no support at all for their mental health problems.
More needs to be done to address the mental health needs of older people and people with disabilities. MHFYFV is the call to action to address this. NHS England has responded with a strategy for implementing the MHFYFV https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/fyfv-mh.pdf
Not all the areas highlighted by the Task Force are addressed. Whilst we welcome the inclusion of an indicator on the availability of IAPT for older people on the new MHFYFV Dashboard, we would like to see the mental health of people with learning disabilities having an equitable focus and response.
We support and endorse the principles that underpin the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health
We are nearing the end of Year One of the implementation of the MHFYFV. The first Dashboard of Indicators to measure progress was published in October 2016, at the same time the NHS Benchmarking Network published its annual report. Figures show that suicides continue to rise. There have been more admissions to inpatient care, both for adults and CAMHS, and the length of hospital stay is increasing. So too are detentions under the Mental Health Act 1983 & 2007, an increase of 7% in the last year
At a time when the pressure on acute services is rising, local partners need to make the best use of their resources and work together to keep people well and out of crisis. This is more easily said than done. The need to make savings and protect budgets puts pressure on partnership working, especially where there are competing demands and staff capacity is stretched. We understand organisational issues but also believe that services are not always the answer. In our work, the voices of people with lived experience are central to looking at innovative ways that these issues can be resolved.
The greatest obstacle is often stigma, where a person’s limitations are defined not by their illness but by society’s expectations. Everyone should be able to follow their own hopes and dreams.
We believe people’s preferences and needs should remain central in planning their care and support, working in partnership with services. Their families/carers should be consulted, involved, and informed wherever possible and appropriate. People who use services should contribute to the design and delivery of community-based support to promote recovery and wellbeing.