Conference 2019 – Poverty, Pathology and Pills
Day 2 – Session 1

Mental health policy and practice

Day 2 - Session 1

Introduction to Day 2

Ray Earwicker, Destress Project

Is ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health just pie in the sky?

Paul Farmer, CEO Mind

Since the Coalition Government enshrined “parity of esteem” in the Health and Social Care Act, there has been an unprecedented focus on mental health policy within the NHS and Government. However, people’s experiences on the ground of trying to access support for their mental health has not always reflected the commitments made at a national level. In this talk, Paul Farmer will argue that achieving parity of esteem is the work of a generation, and while progress has been made in expanding services, there is much further to go. This change will be driven by a generational shift in attitudes towards mental health problems, so that the public will no longer tolerate second-class support from the NHS. It will also require a cross-government and cross-societal commitment to put mental health at the heart of policy and practice.

The lived experience of ‘austerity Britain’

Living below the breadline: the reality of austerity

Karen Coombes, community volunteer and DeSTRESS Advisory Board

A glimpse of ‘real life’ from Barne Barton in Plymouth.

Debt and depression: findings from the DeCoDer project

Adele Ring, University of Liverpool

Debt is an ever increasing feature of the day to day lives of many people living in the UK. There is growing evidence of the detrimental impact of debt on mental health.

The DeCoDer pilot trial was undertaken to confirm the methods and processes for delivering a full trial to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a shared biopsychosocial assessment of, and provision of debt advice by Citizens Advice to, primary care patients currently experiencing depression and money worries.

During qualitative interviews we explored participants’ lived experience of debt and depression and their experience of taking part in the pilot trial. This presentation focuses on participants’ narratives of debt and psychological distress, implicating key contexts and processes that fuel the relationship between debt and depression.

Violence as a symptom of poverty and mental ill health, not a cause

Tony Bone, Lawyer and Former Chief Inspector, Violence Reduction Unit