The Government is seeking evidence from counsellors and psychotherapists to inform its new mental health plan for England.

The call for evidence opened today and those who support people with mental ill-health – including our members – have until July 5 to share views on how support and services should adapt for the future. The public and people with lived experience of mental health are also encouraged to respond.

We’ll be responding to the consultation and demonstrating the value of counselling, psychotherapy and therapeutic coaching.

Improving outcomes

Martin Bell, our Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “The government’s commitment to developing a new cross-departmental, 10-year mental health and wellbeing plan is long overdue, and we welcome its focus on improving outcomes. 

“This provides an important opportunity for the government to meaningfully address longstanding barriers to accessing services and improving choice, diversify the workforce, tackle deep-rooted mental health inequalities and finally deliver parity with physical health.

“We will be putting forward a comprehensive response to this important call for evidence, demonstrating the value of counselling, psychotherapy and therapeutic coaching and how investing in the skills of our members can support the government to deliver its ambitions to level up mental health outcomes for people across all life stages and settings. 

Counselling and psychotherapy

“If the government is serious about meeting its commitment, they will need to ensure effective resources are in place. We’re keen to work with them beyond this initial consultation to develop a successful strategy for mental health, which sees counselling and psychotherapy play a key role in its delivery.”

The consultation will inform a new 10-year mental health plan and a refreshed National Suicide Prevention Plan.

It is seeking views on what can be improved in the current service, particularly in light of the pandemic.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, the Government said it was committed to expanding and transforming mental health services, and to address the impacts of the pandemic.

Increase understanding

The consultation aims to increase understanding of the causes of mental ill-health, listen to people who have interacted with services and those who know and support them, and to draw on what works.

This will support the development of a plan which aims to prevent and mitigate the impacts of risk factors on mental health and suicide, particularly for groups who experience disparities, the Government said.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We all have a role to play in resetting the way we approach mental health and our new 10-year plan will set an ambitious agenda for where we want the mental health of the nation to be a decade from now.

“The sooner someone receives support when they’re struggling with their mental health, the more likely it is they’ll recover. The call for evidence seeks views on how the 10-year plan can complement and extend the work of the NHS Long Term Plan to better address how local services can work together, to prevent those at risk from falling into mental ill-health through earlier, targeted help.”

Respond to the call for evidence. Please email us your responses.