Pregnant women and new mothers to receive specialist care as part of mental health shake-up

More than £400m is to be spent on round-the-clock community based care as part of almost £1bn of investment in mental health services.

It will be used to pay for crisis resolution teams to provide treatment at home or in a community setting rather than hospital.

Specialist care for new mothers with mental health problems and support for anorexic teenagers will also gain money allocated in the Autumn Statement. The PM will also pledge more support in hospital A&E departments

David Cameron is to promise a “revolution” in mental health care as he announces the measures in a speech on Monday.

He will call for a “more mature” conversation about mental health. In a speech in London he is expected to say mental illness is not contagious and is “nothing to be frightened of”.

One in four people will develop a problem such as anxiety or depression this year alone, while suicide is now the leading cause of death for men under 50.

“As a country, we need to be far more mature about this. Less hushed tones, less whispering; more frank and open discussion,” he will say.

“We need to take away that shame, that embarrassment, let people know that they’re not in this alone, that when the clouds descend, they don’t have to suffer silently.

“I want us to be able to say to anyone who is struggling, ‘talk to someone, ask your doctor for help and we will always be there to support you’.”

Paul Farmer, CEO at Mind, said: “The prime minister rightly recognises some key priorities that have been identified by the mental health taskforce, which will soon be publishing its full report. Children and young people, pregnant women and new mums, and those in crisis urgently need better services and support.”

Included in the mental health plans will be:

  • £290 million to be spent by 2020 helping 30,000 more new and expectant mothers with mental health issues
  • Services expanded to ensure teenagers with eating disorders get faster treatment, and a new waiting measure to track the amount of time before patients are seen
  • £247 million over the next five years to embed mental health services in every hospital emergency department
  • A £400 million investment in crisis resolution and home treatment teams to operate 24 hours a day as an alternative to hospitals
  • A new waiting time target, meaning at least half of those experiencing psychosis for the first time must be treated within two weeks

Paul Farmer, CEO at Mind, said: “The prime minister rightly recognises some key priorities that have been identified by the mental health taskforce, which will soon be publishing its full report. Children and young people, pregnant women and new mums, and those in crisis urgently need better services and support.”

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