To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken towards (a) developing, implementing and reinforcing comprehensive mental health policies as outlined in the 12 areas for action set out in the World Health Organisation's Mental Health action plan for Europe and (b) engaging non-governmental organisations and service users in this work.
Work is being taken forward in many ways to develop mental health policies and services that are consistent with the World Health Organisation action plan, including:
the five-year Shift" programme challenging the discrimination and stigma that can affect people with mental health problems; the national social inclusion programme, taking forward implementation of the June 2004 social exclusion unit action plan for better access to employment and social, educational and community activity for people with mental health problems; the recruitment of over 600 graduate workers to help general practitioners manage mental health problems in primary care settings; a reduction in the suicide rate to its lowest recorded level; over 340 new crisis resolution teams to give intensive support at home to people suffering a crisis in their mental health; increases since 1997 of 50 per cent. in the number of general psychiatric consultants and 21 per cent. in the number of psychiatric nurses; and an increase since 1999 of over 26 per cent. in total spending on mental health services.
Service users and non-governmental organisations are involved in shaping policy and guiding its implementation. For example, the Shift" programme has an advisory board that includes 14 people with direct experience of mental health problems, and the national social exclusion programme is supported by an affiliates network of over 50 organisations.