Improving access to mental health care: How is Fulfilling Lives changing the system?

January 29, 2020

CFE Research and the Fulfilling Lives programme areas have published a report, produced with the support of MEAM, looking at access to and experiences of mental health care for individuals facing multiple disadvantage. It explores and highlights the primary issues this group confront including:

  • Inability to access primary health care.
  • Inflexible traditional mental healthcare support failing to meet their needs and take into account their lives and circumstances.
  • Automatically being denied mental health assessment and support when having co-occurring substance issues.

However, the report goes on to focus on the promising practice emerging from Fulfilling Lives areas, designed to overcome some of these barriers which include:

  • Developing specialist services to help individuals better navigate the mental health system, through the use of psychotherapists in different support settings.
  • Involving individuals with lived experience in the design and development of local mental health systems.
  • Creating a Care Act toolkit to help staff and beneficiaries better navigate the social care system.

This research offers practical insights on how to begin to make positive changes to mental health systems for people experiencing multiple disadvantage.

This is the first in a series of reports looking at the systems change priorities of the Fulfilling Lives programme leads (Systems Change Action Network).