Mental health

Recently there has been a far greater recognition of the inequality in the way that people with physical health and those with mental health problems are prioritised by health services. A recent All Party Parliamentary Group considered the issues of parity in its report “Parity in Progress”[Parity in Progress: the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health’s inquiry into parity of esteem for mental health. London: APPG on Mental Health, March 2015.]. The concerns about the poorer physical health experienced by those with mental health problems and vice versa resulted in a number of recommendations focused on reducing premature mortality in those with mental health problems; improving the quality of mental health emergency care (which can for example manifest itself by the police detaining people in police cells as a place of safety if they have a mental health problem under section 136 of the Mental Health Act rather than support being available for them in a mental health setting); ensuring mental health is a public health priority; and addressing the institutional bias against mental health ( for example the “parity of esteem” which is required of Clinical Commissioning Groups by the NHS Mandate).