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COMMUNITY RENEWAL AND MENTAL HEALTH GUIDE

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The King's Fund and the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMHE) today published a guide to help promote effect...
The King's Fund and the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMHE) today published a guide to help promote effective local partnerships between mental health professionals, community and voluntary organisations, and agencies that design and implement renewal and regeneration programmes.

Community Renewal And Mental Health: Strengthening the Links, produced with the support of Thames Gateway London Partnership, is designed to enable a wide range of individuals and agencies to learn more about each other's perspectives, and to find innovative ways of reducing health inequalities.

Guide co-author Marsaili Cameron said: 'Decisions affecting the mental health of communities are made at different levels every day. Sometimes the decision-makers are aware of the likely consequences of their decisions. Often they are not. There's a pressing need for closer working between those who make funding decisions, those who have an in-depth understanding of mental health issues, and those who know their own communities.

'A clear split is often made between 'the worried well' and those with severe and enduring mental illness. But the innovative projects we interviewed told us that their everyday reality often involved working across the spectrum of mental distress and illness. They also saw the wider promotion of a better understanding of mental health and well-being as an important part of their work. We hope the guide will encourage other individuals, organisations and partnerships to think further along these lines.'

The guide shows that the commitment across government to policies promoting social inclusion and to the development of sustainable communities presents real opportunities for change 'at the sharp end'. This commitment, according to the guide, is particularly clear in the current work of the Social Exclusion Unit.

Community Renewal And Mental Health: Strengthening the Links will be of particular interest to:

agencies responsible for planning, commissioning a nd designing mental health services, such as primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, local implementation teams and mental health development centres;

organisations and partnerships that have areas of common purpose with community-focused mental health services, such as renewal and regeneration partnerships, voluntary and community organisations, regional government offices and local strategic partnerships.

Note

Community Renewal And Mental Health: Strengthening the Links, by Marsaili Cameron, Teresa Edmans, Angela Greatley and David Morris, is available from King's Fund publications on 020 7307 2591, or via our online bookshop at www.kingsfundbookshop.org.uk., price £10. A free copy of the full report can also be downloaded at www.kingsfund.org.uk and www.nimhe.org.uk.

1. Marsaili Cameron is an independent consultant and writer with particular interests in health and social care, community development, and professional education. She was a member of the core team carrying out, on behalf of the London Health Commission, health impact assessment of the Mayor of London's strategies;

2. Teresa Edmans is an independent health and regeneration consultant, currently leading on health for the Thames Gateway London Partnership and Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor. She was formerly the health and regeneration programme manager at the King's Fund;

3. Angela Greatley is director of policy at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. Formerly Fellow in Mental Health at the King's Fund, she led an initiative on assertive outreach and social inclusion, and continues to manage the King's Fund Inquiry into London's mental health and mental health services;

4. David Morris leads the social inclusion programme at the National Institute for Mental Health in England, which links closely to the Social Exclusion Unit and Neighbourhood Renewal Units at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Before this, he led the Citizenship and Community in Mental Health Programme at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

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