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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Psychiatrists launch campaign to tackle mental health inequalities in Wales

Embargoed until 13 November 2009

Psychiatrists in Wales are today launching a new campaign to help reduce the inequalities faced by people with mental health problems.

The Welsh Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling on the Welsh Assembly Government to pledge its commitment to the Fair Deal campaign. The Division also hopes there will be early recognition of the campaign’s values and objectives by the new Health Boards.

Although there has been extra investment in mental health services over the last decade, governments do not spend enough given the extent of the burden of mental illnesses. In Wales, an estimated 12% of the total NHS and social services spending is allocated to mental health services, which is disproportionate to the human and economic costs of mental disorders.

The College’s Fair Deal manifesto highlights the problems that people with both mental health problems and learning disabilities encounter daily in terms of their health, life chances and inclusion. Key problems include: funding shortages, limited access to services, poor inpatient services, and widespread discrimination.

Commenting on the launch of the Fair Deal campaign today in Ewloe in Flintshire, Dr Helen Matthews, chair of the Welsh Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This event provides a real example of successful integration of academic and clinical practice across Wales. The College is delighted that Dr Tony Jewell, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, is providing high profile support and recognition to this important initiative by delivering a keynote address at the launch.”

The College’s Welsh Division plans to raise awareness of its Fair Deal campaign in the Welsh Assembly Government, in the new Health Boards’ planning and operational structures, and among the general public. The Division will undertake a series of projects including integrating physical and mental healthcare, particularly focusing on the relationships between primary and specialist care.


For further information, please contact:
Kathy Oxtoby or Deborah Hart in the Communications Department.

Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538

 

Note to editors:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Fair Deal manifesto identifies eight priority areas: Funding of research and services; Access to services; Inpatient services; Recovery and rehabilitation; Discrimination and stigma; Engagement with service users and carers; Availability of psychological therapies; and Linking physical and mental health.

 

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