New Horizons: a shared vision for mental health
New cross government guidance for mental health and mental well-being was published this month. It sets out an intention across a wide range of agencies to move towards a society where people understand that their mental well-being is as important as their physical health if they are to live their lives to the full.
'New Horizons' sets out a unique dual approach, which is about more than preventing mental illness, important though that is; it is also about strengthening the mental health and well-being of the whole population - helping individuals and communities to bring the best out of themselves - with all the health, social and economic benefits that follow. It describes some of the factors that affect well-being and some everyday strategies for preserving and boosting it. For the first time, it recognises mental health and wellbeing not just as a health concern, but as a major social issue demanding action across all sectors.
Mental health problems are common; they are illnesses with causes and treatments, like physical illnesses. New Horizons marks a new agreement between individuals and health and care services that 'the greatest degree of effective recovery is gained from early identification and treatment'. New Horizons confirms that people with mental health problems are able to run their own lives, participate in the life of their families and communities, and work productively to earn their living and contribute to the economy, to varying degrees - just like people with physical health problems. It identifies different types and levels of support that people can expect to enable them to do these things.
To read the guidance, visit: New Horizons (.pdf format).