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Midweek Mindset

The NHS launch their long term plan

January 9, 2019

By: Jenna Rachid

NHS longterm plan text graphic

The 10 year plan aims to make the NHS fit for the future, with a key focus on how mental health services will be improved by 2029, the Huffington Post reports.

The NHS strategy for improving mental health care will focus on the improvement of wait times, expanding perinatal mental health support, establishing a universal helpline and investing in services for children and young people – though some of these commitments had already been outlined prior to Monday’s publication.

Many mental health charities, including Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, have responded optimistically to the plan. Rethink Chief Executive, Mark Winstanley, said: ‘For all those people who are severely affected by mental illness we now have the prospect of getting access to good quality treatment, quickly, near home for the first time.’

However, there have also been widespread calls for further detail about how the ambitions laid out in the plan will be delivered in practice, especially in light of existing shortfalls in the NHS’s psychological workforce.

UKCP Chief Executive Prof Sarah Niblock emphasised this point in her response to the plans. She said: ‘While we welcome the renewed commitment to mental health outlined in the long-term plan, it remains unclear how many of the promised service improvements will be delivered, and who by.’

You can read UKCP’s full response to the NHS Long Term Plan here. 

Low moods affect more than just your mental health

Research suggests that anxiety, anger and depression can increase inflammation in the blood, the Daily Mail reports.

The ‘Effects of Stress on Cognitive Ageing, Physiology, and Emotion’ study was executed by Pennsylvania State University and led by Biobehavioural Health Researcher Dr Jennifer Graham-Engeland.

220 adults were examined, with the link between mood and inflammation found in the final week.

Dr Graham-Engeland said: ‘We hope this research will prompt investigators to include momentary measures of stress and affect in research examining inflammation, to replicate the current findings and help characterise the mechanisms underlying associations between affect and inflammation.’

Dr Graham-Engeland hopes that these findings will prompt additional research.

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In case you missed it…

Sheffield base for men’s mental health clubs opens – Andy’s Man Club opened its latest branch today 7 January 2019 in Sheffield.

Arts charity is looking to share men’s mental health stories – An arts charity in Moray is aiming to make a short film to educate students and the community about mental health.

NHS longterm plan text graphic