Mental health care is a common health and care issue that the public talk to us about.
Since January 2016, over 34,000 people have shared their views and experiences of using mental health services with us. Local Healthwatch have also produced 229 reports highlighting what people like and what could be better about mental health services.
To help health professionals use people’s experiences to make improvements to mental health support, we have produced a report summarising the issues people have raised with us.
Unlike other areas of health and social care most of the feedback we receive around mental health care is negative.
People say how vital it is to be able to access the support they need, when they need it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
Top six issues people share with us about mental health:
- People struggle to find information about the support available
- Mental and physical health needs are often treated in isolation
- People don’t always get the same level of service
- Long waiting times to access mental health services and receive a diagnosis
- Non-mental health professionals don’t always have the right information and training they need
- People often don’t feel listened to or involved in decisions that affect them
From what people have told us, it is clear that not everyone has the support they need to manage their mental health conditions. For those that do, the quality and consistency of support is not always enough and doesn’t always meet people’s needs.
There has been a significant effort from the government and the NHS to address many of the issues around mental health. However, to make effective changes to services, we believe more needs done to understand different people’s experiences of mental health care, at different stages in their lives.