“Our Government is still not putting mental health where it needs to be, on an equal footing with physical health”.
Parity of Esteem in Healthcare
Parity of esteem means tackling mental health issues with the same energy and priority as we have tackled physical illness. It is about putting mental health funding, commissioning, training, research and development on a par with physical health spend and health services.
It is about changing the experience for people who require help with mental health problems. Parity of esteem in healthcare means that we are working toward valuing mental health equally with physical health.
Please sign up to support the #wordsdontcount campaign
Parity of esteem in healthcare means so much more than just tackling the money issues, this is about tackling the attitude behind why mental health is not currently given the same credence. Until mental health and physical healthcare are considered equal we can assume that there is much work to do.
Amidst the promise of parity in healthcare, are you tired of hearing about NHS cuts within mental healthcare, resources being withdrawn, closures of units or services that were actually serving you and many others very well?
Are you troubled by the lack of voice that we have as NHS service users?
It appears that the many campaigners, both larger influences like Mind or smaller independent campaigns like words don’t count, can be likened to hundreds of dots, thousands if you count every voice.
…It is time to join the dots.
Use the Hashtag
If, like us, you are tired of words, please use the hashtag #wordsdontcount to let our government know that actions speak louder than words.
…We need to see investment, not cuts..
The big thunderclap event will happen on the same day as the first live debate, you can use the hashtag in the meantime to build up the momentum and share your voice!
Why not copy in the decision makers, you can reach them via twitter here:
Here’s an example of what we mean:
If you want to use the same template, just copy and past the text below:
Dear @Number10gov @DHgovuk @NHSEngland
We want mental health to be taken seriously and put on par with physical health
A brilliant champion for Parity of Esteem is the Rt Hon Norman Lamb
Norman Lamb, MP spoke about parity of esteem on 19 June 2013
Royal College of Psychiatrists- Parity in Action event
This part of what he said:
“..by placing a lesser value on mental health, we get less value from the NHS as a whole.
We don’t just need to improve mental health services, we need to change how people think about mental health. Only then will we change how people behave, how they prioritise, how they spend their time, their energy and their money, so that mental health is truly on a par with physical health.“
“Poor mental health is the largest cause of disability in the UK. It’s also closely connected with other problems, including poor physical health and problems in other areas like relationships, education and work prospects. If we want to improve these aspects of people’s lives, we’ll need to make improvements to mental health and wellbeing.“
Policy (first published) 25 March 2013
What do Mind have to say about mental health and parity?
Here’s an excerpt taken from an email we sent to all main Party Leaders, via Mind Charity. You can see the full content of the email and sign up, it only takes a couple of minutes, is easy to do and will reach the inbox of our Leaders.
“Attitudes towards mental health are beginning to change. Politicians, the media, the public, and the Government are giving more attention to mental health than ever before. But the fact is that right now, mental health services are on their knees and hundreds of thousands of people are being failed by the NHS. The statistics speak for themselves”
Here are some of the statistics:
- English mental health budgets reduced, in real terms, by 2.3% between 2011/12 and 2013/14, and Clinical Commissioning Groups are ignoring guidance from NHS England which instructs them to increase their mental health spending in 2015/16.
- The amount spent by NHS Wales on mental health fell by £24.3 million between 2011/12 and 2012/13.
- Male suicide rates have increased significantly in the last few years, and suicide is now the leading cause of death of men aged between 20 – 49 in England and Wales. In 2013, 6,233 people across the UK took their own lives.
- 2,100 mental health inpatient beds have closed since 2011, and the average adult acute admission ward now has a bed occupancy rate of 101 per cent.
- Between 2012 and 2014, the number of people who have to travel long distances – up to 300 miles – for emergency mental health services doubled from 1301 to 3024.
- Last year, over 6000 people were held in a police cell when having a mental health crisis, instead of a more appropriate health setting.
- 75 per cent of people with anxiety and depression get no treatment at all in the UK.
- 40 per cent people have to wait more than three months for talking therapies.
- 3,300 mental health nursing posts have been lost in four years.
You can send your own email, just sign up, the email is already drafted and ready to go!
What can you do to make a difference?
If, like us, you are tired of words, please sign up to the Thunderclap, by doing so you will become a change activist, together we become strong.
We will be letting our prospective Government that we need action now- “Words Don’t Count”
Please sign up to Thunderclap it, it takes a couple of minutes to do and Thunderclap will do the rest, by doing so you will become a change activist, together we become strong.
After signing up to thunderclap it you can also send policy and decision makers that #wordsdontcount.