With the closing date for submissions just ten days away, the MHF has submitted its evidence to the government's New Horizons consultation on mental health and is calling on all other organisations concerned about men's health to do the same.
The government is currently consulting on a ten year plan for mental health services to replace the existing National Service Framework for Mental Health which comes to an end this year. The consultation document, New Horizons, asserts it commitment to tackling inequalities.
But, says MHF CEO Peter Baker: 'it is currently weak on gender and men and we need to get the issue firmly on their radar. There is an online questionnaire for responses to the consultation comprising 12 questions but it is not necessary to answer them all. I urge everyone to respond.'
On page 20 of New Horizons, in its Guiding Values, it says: 'There is strong evidence of inequalities between (among others) rich and poor, men and women, young and old, and between the white population and black and minority ethnic groups.' But in the main body of the report there is little indication that the authors have considered gender as a determinant of mental health status.
'The report' says MHF policy officer David Wilkins who drafted the MHF's response to the consultation, 'is a bit stronger on women's mental health than men's but really it leaves a lot to be desired in both cases.' The MHF response is attached below.
The National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU) has also commissioned a review from the MHF of the most important issues in male mental health. It is scheduled for publication later this year but meanwhile the final draft has been sent as evidence to the New Horizons team - although they are not obliged to take any notice of it. David Wilkins said: 'It would be helpful if you could recommend to the New Horizons team that they take notice of the issues raised in the MHF review which is called The Mental Health of Men and Boys: a review of the most important issues.
The closing date for the New Horizons consultation is 15 October 2009.
Page created on October 5th, 2009
Page updated on May 25th, 2010