For far too long, people of all ages with mental health problems have been stigmatised and marginalised, all too often experiencing an NHS that treats their minds and bodies 

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separately. Mental health services have been underfunded for decades, and too many people have received no help at all, leading to hundreds of thousands of lives put on hold or ruined, and thousands of tragic and unnecessary deaths.

But in recent years, the picture has started to change. Public attitudes towards mental health are improving, and there is a growing commitment among communities, workplaces, schools and within government to change the way we think about it. There is now a cross-party, cross-society consensus on what needs to change and a real desire to shift towards prevention and transform NHS care. This has been outlined by The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The rate of mental health problems in Greater Manchester is higher than the national average.

NHS England's adult mental health programme has identified key priorities, and these have helped shape the SCN's Mental Health priorities, which are:

  • Early intervention for people experiencing a first episode of psychosis

  • Psychological therapies for depression and anxiety disorders

  • Mental health crisis care as a signatory to the Crisis Care Concordat, with the aim of ensuring 24/7 access to the right services for people experiencing crisis.

  • Liaison Mental Health services so that people presenting acute hospitals with mental health condition receive a timely and skilled assessment, an aim over five years to ensure that all acute hospitals have a liaison mental health service for all ages appropriate to the size, acuity and specialty of the hospital

  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)


The Mental Health Network sets the priorities and areas of work to develop and improve services in Greater Manchester.

It is led by senior clinicians, supported by the Mental Health Network Team, and includes the views of commissioners, service providers, patients, carers and members of the public.