Nothing is more critical to our overall health and wellbeing than good mental health. The Global Burden of Disease makes plain that mental illness accounts for more than twenty per cent of the overall burden of disease. I know from visits and speaking with local authority colleagues, NHS commissioners, and voluntary and community sector partners how much more they want to do to move the promotion of good mental health and the prevention of mental illness up the public health agenda. I am personally committed to this, as we all are right across PHE, and on Monday the Deputy Prime Minister refreshed the Government’s commitment through their action plan for mental health: ‘Closing the Gap: priorities for essential change in mental health’.
I have been hearing from Local Government teams and CCGs who are working through their health and wellbeing boards to develop their integration plans for the Better Care Fund – a pot of £3.8 billion for local services to provide an improved health and social care system for the elderly and vulnerable. We are supporting this work locally and as part of this we have published ‘Health and Care Integration – making the case from a public health perspective’, which describes the improved outcomes which will flow from integrated public health interventions.
And finally, we are organising the programme for our second annual conference which will be held over two and a half days, from 15 to 17 September 2014, again at Warwick University.