DoH backs urban allotments to improve mental health

Urban allotments, reading groups and computer training for the over 50s are just some of the good practice initiatives detailed in a new approach to public mental health.

Unveiled by care services minister Phil Hope, New Horizons sets out a new approach to improving well-being for the whole population. The aim is to target the root causes of poor mental health.

Partnership work across health services, local authorities and education are thought critical.

One of the key themes is multi-agency commissioning and collaboration involving the NHS and local authorities.

Care services minister Mr Hope said: ‘Better mental health and well-being is vital for a healthy society. People with mental health problems are more likely to do other things that damage their health, such as have a poor diet, smoke or take drugs. So promoting good mental health is a key part of tackling many other health inequalities.'

Steve Shrubb, chairman of the Future Visions coalition, which represents the full range of mental health groups, said: ‘The strength of this consultation is that it has been developed with the involvement of a full range of organisations in mental healthcare.'

The New Horizons consultation is now open.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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