Mental health – Government action
UK Government actions
- In January 2021, the UK Government launched a public consultation on reforming the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983, following a UK Government-commissioned Independent Review of the MHA.
- In November 2020, the UK Government announced £500 million in additional funding in 2021‒22 to address waiting times for mental health services, provide more people with mental health support, and invest in the NHS workforce.
- In May 2020, NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued legal guidance allowing for temporary departures from the MHA Code of Practice during an undefined ‘pandemic period’. In November 2020, regulations were introduced to expire these provisions.
- In March 2020, the UK Government passed the Coronavirus Act 2020, which introduced provisions that, if triggered, would limit safeguards on detention under the MHA. These provisions expired in December 2020.
- In January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan committed to increase investment to improve access to community and crisis mental health services in England, with investment in mental health services to grow faster than the overall NHS budget.
- In January 2019, the DHSC published its first cross-government suicide prevention workplan, following calls from the Health Select Committee for a clearer implementation plan for the UK Government’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.
- In January 2019, the Department for Education announced that mental health and wellbeing would be covered as part of the school curriculum in England from September 2020.
- In July 2018, the UK Government confirmed its plans to develop teams to increase universal and early-intervention mental health support in schools and colleges in England.
- In October 2017, the ‘Thriving at Work’ report was published following a UK Government-commissioned independent review into mental health and employment. It recommended ‘core mental health standards’ that all employers could adopt to support staff.
- In July 2016, NHS England published an implementation plan for the delivery of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The UK Government provided £1 billion in funding to support the implementation of the plan.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on mental health.
Welsh Government actions
Mental health is devolved to the Welsh Government.
- In February 2021, the Welsh Government pledged an extra £9.4 million investment in children and young people’s mental health services, following previous investment.
- In September 2020, the Welsh Government announced a £1.3 million package of support for mental health services.
- In response to the pandemic, the Welsh Government set out actions to support mental health needs, with a focus on maintaining services, supporting the NHS and reducing the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on mental health. The Welsh Government also updated the Together for Mental Health delivery plan 2019-2022.
- In July 2019, the Welsh Government published a five-year vision on Maternity Care in Wales. It includes a commitment to ensure ‘high quality universal, enhanced and targeted services’, including access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
- The Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 provides for regulations to be made about the use of ‘health impact assessments’ (inclusive of mental health impact) for proposed actions or decisions by public bodies, but that section is not yet in force.
- The Welsh Government’s Strategic Equality Plan 2016‒2020 includes an objective to put the ‘needs, rights and contributions’ of people sharing protected characteristics at the centre of mental health services, among other public services.
- The Welsh Government developed a ‘Talk to Me Too’ suicide and self-harm prevention action plan for 2015‒2020.
Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on mental health.
The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 18/03/2021