The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Mental Health held an inquiry to explore the impact of the plan to date and the areas for further work.

Our comments have focused on:

  • delivering an expanded choice of evidence based psychological therapies for the public, including counselling and psychotherapy
  • increasing access to, and the availability of, psychological therapies for the public
  • the role counsellors and psychotherapists can play in expanding the workforce to meet the mental health needs of the population.

We have also suggested a range of priority areas looking beyond 2021. These include a 28-day waiting time target for accessing services from referral, a commitment to delivering a full choice of evidenced therapies across NHS mental health services, an ambition for psychological therapy services to be available to 100% of people with common mental conditions, and a renewed campaign to inform the public about psychological therapies and to continue combating stigma.

Read our full response.

What is the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health?

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health was published by NHS England in 2016 and sets out the Government’s priorities for improving mental health care in England until 2020/21.

It sets out a range of priorities including increasing the numbers of people accessing mental health services and workforce expansions to meet the increased demand.

You can find out more about the document here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/fyfv-mh.pdf

What is an APPG?

An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is an informal group of cross-party politicians within Westminster. They have no official status within parliament but they are an opportunity for interested MPs and Peers to come together to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Similar groups exist across all UK Parliaments and Assemblies but they have different names, Cross Party Groups in Scotland and Wales and All-Party Groups in Northern Ireland.

We are members of a number of these groups focused on relevant areas of work and we actively engage with them as a way of informing politicians and other mental health stakeholders about counselling and psychotherapy.