A new vision for mental health and well-being

The millions of people who suffer from or might face mental illness at some point in their lives will be the focus of a new strategy, the previous Minister for Care Services announced.

'New Horizons' is a new strategy that will promote good mental health and well-being, whilst improving services for people who have mental health problems. It will build on the National Service Framework for mental health - widely acknowledged as the catalyst for a transformation in mental health care over the last ten years - which comes to an end in 2009.

A series of New Horizons 'listening events' starts this month hosted by Louis Appleby, National Director for Mental Health. They will seek views on what the new Strategy should cover from a wide range of people. The Strategy is expected later this year.

New Horizons recognises that:

  • Around one in four people will suffer from a form of mental illness at some point in their lives
  • One sixth of the population suffers from a common mental health problem at any time
  • 1 in 100 people suffers from a serious mental illness such as psychosis
  • More than 1.3 million older people suffer from depression or other mental illness
  • 6 million people in Britain have depression and/or anxiety disorders - few get effective treatment
  • One in ten mothers suffers from post-natal depression

New Horizons heralds a dynamic new approach to whole population mental health. The focus on prevention and maintaining good mental health is particularly relevant today with people leading more hectic lifestyles and going through the economic downturn.