Centre for Mental Health welcomes Schizophrenia Commission report and calls for action to implement key recommendations

14 November 2012

"People with schizophrenia have been marginalised for too long. It is now time for action to close the unacceptable gap in health, life chances and expectations,” Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan said today.

Responding to the publication of The Abandoned Illness, the report of the Schizophrenia Commission, by Rethink Mental Illness, Sean Duggan said: "The facts about the lives of people with schizophrenia are stark. A person with schizophrenia can expect to live 15-20 years less than average; they have just a one in 12 chance of being in paid work; and only one in ten is offered evidence-based psychological therapy when they need it.

"We support the recommendations of today's report as a means to achieve a sea change in the life experiences of people with schizophrenia. Mental health services need to focus on intervening early, on supporting recovery and on improving inpatient care. People with schizophrenia need to be given opportunities to fulfil their potential and improve their physical health.

"We agree that a national strategy is needed to improve secure mental health care and to ensure that the £1.2 billion cost of secure services is better spent on helping people to recover and rebuild their lives.

"Yesterday the NHS Mandate sent a clear message to the NHS about the importance of improving mental health support. Today's report sets out some of the changes that are needed to make parity a reality and dramatically improve the life chances of people living with psychosis."

The Centre's Marija Trachtenberg and Michael Parsonage, chief economist, are contributing authors to the accompanying economic report produced for the commission, Effective Interventions in Schizophrenia: the economic case. The report evaluates the cost effectiveness of various interventions, including Individual Placement and Support and Peer Support.