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Our Response to the Inquiry of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Mental Health carried out an inquiry on what progress has been made on the Government's Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. Here's our response.

What is the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health?

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health was released by the Government in 2016. It outlined their strategy to improve mental health services and set targets that it aimed to achieve by 2020/21. 

The strategy covered mental health for all ages but also made provisions for children and young people to add to those outlined in Future in Mind, the earlier mental health strategy aimed at young people. 

The Inquiry

Earlier this year, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health launched an inquiry to understand what progress has been made since the Five Year Forward View on Mental Health has made since it was released. It focused on where the biggest impacts were, what should a new mental health strategy focus on and how can we better scrutinise implementation of the strategy. 

YoungMinds have responded to this inquiry and you can read our full response below.

Our view

YoungMinds’ response to this inquiry is based on the insights that lived experiences of the children, young people, parents, carers and the professionals that we work with. We believe that the implementation of the strategy has made improvements to children's mental health services across the country. Notably, we welcome the introduction of specialist eating disorder teams throughout the country and the ambitious service targets for access and waiting times standards for children experiencing an eating disorder, or a first episode of psychosis. Additionally, we are glad to see the development of workforce strategy and the expansion of training in evidence-based practice through the roll-out of CYPIAPT. 

However, we think that it is necessary to remember that these improvements do not go near to meeting the true scale of of the challenge when it comes to children's mental health, with projections that by 2020/21 only 1 in 3 children with a diagnosable mental health condition will receive NHS treatment. Concerns have also been raised about whether the 5YFVMH service targets will be met relating to access, waiting time standards, and the workforce strategy. Furthermore, we think that there needs to be greater transparency for children, young people and their families relating to progress at both the national and local level. 

At YoungMinds, we think there are key components that need to be considered in future mental health strategies including: 

  • A greater promotion of emotional literacy and self-management 
  • Developing adversity and trauma informed services 
  • Increasing capacity and capability of the work force 
  • Strengthened crisis care pathways for children and young people 

The APPG's Report

In October 2018, the APPG on Mental Health published their findings from the inquiry. 

The report outlined that:

  • There must be more investment in children and young people's mental health (CYP) as part of a preventative approach and to improve chances of recovery from mental illness.  
  • NHS England should provide additional resources for children's mental health services which support CYP with complex needs.
  • Any new mental health policies for children and young people must take into account the risk of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on their mental health. 
  • There needs to be a different response to mental health crisis including ensuring that every Sustainability Transformation Partnership has a service model that directs 111 callers to 24/7 support and mental health crisis response for both adults and children and young people. 
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