The NHS is planning a series of mental health programmes that will support those living with chronic physical ailments, particularly diabetics and those suffering heart problems.

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The plan

The plan will involve working with health authorities to improve integrated mental and physical health services, providing therapists and clinical staffing to provide services related to relevant health issues.

Studies have shown that many people living with mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, also suffer from physical conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue or respiratory issues. It s believed that addressing these issues together will provide more effective treatment, which in turn will reduce healthcare costs by up to 20%.

NHS National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Professor Tim Kendall, said that the country is leading the way in providing traditional therapy for anxiety and depression in primary care, but needs to make improvements to address those who also suffer physical health problems. Many people who suffer chronic physical illness will also experience depression and anxiety, which can go untreated and exacerbate their physical issues. The new initiative seeks to address this issue, by integrating the treatments, where possible, for each patient.

He went on to say that the planned services will ensure these people are reached and given adequate support.

NHS funding

The new services will receive £31 million in funding from the NHS, which will be initially rolled out across 30 areas of the country. There will also be access to another £20 million to fund further services of a similar nature, including specialist therapists and clinicians. This will need to include a building to house these specialists like an Office Space Reading location where they come with furniture, safety and parking.  You can find out more about these locations at sites like https://www.arlingtonbusinesspark.co.uk/ . The main focal issues will be diabetes, respiratory disease and cardiovascular illness, which are believed to be the most significant conditions affecting those with mental health issues. There will also be provision made to support those with cancer, as well as other chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The new measures follow other recent plans to improve mental health services across the UK. Last month, £40m was allocated for community therapy services that deal specifically with mothers with mental health issues. There has also been funding to improve integration and liaison between accident and emergency and hospital wards, to improve the services provided to those with mental illness.