The mental health sustainability consensus statement
During the mental health sustainability summit last week at the Royal College of Psychiatrists we presented and discussed a consensus statement. The aim was for people to have an idea about what sustainability means in relation to mental health and to have a good working definition to be able to discuss with collleagues about this important issue. This statement will also be included in the RCPsych Sustainability Policy and the Joint Commissioning Panel sustainability guide and it will be put up on the RCPsych and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare's websites.
Having discussed this on the day and collated your opinions please see below the final draft. We have tried to take in to account what people have said and this last phase of iteration is to ensure that there are no glaring issues that would concern people before we send this out. So please take a look and let us know...
Summit Consensus Statement on Sustainability in Mental Health
Sustainability in mental health is the ability to provide high value care now and in the future in the face of environmental, economic and social constraints.
Climate change presents an unprecedented and urgent threat to human health and survival. All health professionals have a duty to advocate for action at all levels to mitigate climate change. Mental health professionals have a particular duty to educate people about the mental health effects of climate change, and the psychology of climate change denial.
Sustainable care in mental health acts to:
- Prevent mental illness, build social capital and promote individual, social and community resilience and mental wellbeing
- Empower patients, staff and carers to manage their mental health
- Eliminate wasteful activity
- Make use of low carbon alternatives
Reducing over-medication, adopting a recovery approach, exploiting the therapeutic value of natural settings and nurturing support networks are examples that can improve patient care while reducing economic and environmental costs.