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New agency for mental health equalities announced by the government

A new agency to ensure national mental health policies bring about real improvements for patients and carers will start work on 1 April, Care Services Minister Phil Hope has announced .



The new agency - the National Mental Health Development Unit - will succeed the current National Institute for Mental Health in England.


The change follows a review of mental health service delivery, taking into account Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review and the need for more personalised services. From April, the ten strategic health authorities* will oversee much of the regional and local delivery of new mental health policies, with support from the new Development Unit.



The Development Unit will continue the momentum in co-ordinating support for key mental health projects such as:



* improving access to talking therapies;


* promoting equalities in mental health services for different groups, based on race, gender and age;


* promoting social inclusion and social justice for people with mental health problems;


* promoting well-being and mental health for the whole population; and


* supporting effective mental health commissioning.


The unit will be led by Dr Ian McPherson, former head of the National Institute for Mental Health.



Louis Appleby, National Director of Mental Health Services, said:



"The National Institute for Mental Health demonstrated the importance of having a national body to help care for our mental health. Mental health care reform is as important as ever and I look forward to working with the National Mental Health Development Unit in supporting the delivery of the next generation of mental health policies."



Dr Ian McPherson, Director of the National Mental Health Development Unit said:



"I am privileged to lead this new unit. I recognise that some people may be concerned that as the National Institute for Mental Health is ending, the national profile of mental health could be reduced. I am determined that will not happen.



"I look forward to working with former National Institute for Mental Health colleagues as they establish new regional arrangements to deliver mental health services in a manner more suited to the post-National Service Framework era."



More information about the unit can be found on its website

http://www.nmhdu.org.uk

which will be available from 1 April 2009.

Ends

posted by, Asif Yusuf

 

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