The roadblock to recovery: How mental health practitioners deal with people’s practical problems in England
This report highlights mental health practitioners’ experience of dealing with people’s practical problems, and what this means for people’s experience of care. Practical problems are part of everyday life, but also can be life-changing events, such as losing one’s job or caring for an unwell relative. Mental health services are seeing an increase in clients with practical problems, taking up significant clinical time. Clients often struggle to attend their appointments, or complete their course of treatment, and as a result, struggle to recover from their mental health problems. The impact of practical problems is severe for clients, practitioners and mental health services.
At a national level
1. NHS England should expand the integrated care pathway to include practical support, and test a range of models for screening practical needs as part of the referral pathway to IAPT and the wider mental health services.
2. The government should fund a pilot for integrated practical support in primary mental healthcare settings, including IAPT services (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies).
At a local level
3. Clinical Commissioning Groups should provide funding to improve clinical approaches to practical problems, that is, to fund integrated practical support in mental health services.