This includes evidence submitted by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK highlighting the complex relationship between alcohol use and mental health, and concerns that the Draft Mental Health Bill does not do enough to prevent the major role alcohol use and dependence plays in psychiatric presentations and ill-health, or support people with dual diagnosis.
Our response makes several recommendations, including:
- an addition to the Bill committing the Government to publish a strategy on mental health and substance use
- better training for healthcare professionals on the relationship between alcohol and poor mental health, including for GPs – who frequently see patients with mental health and/or alcohol problems
- compulsory placements for all trainee psychiatrists in addiction services
- actions to address the link between alcohol use and deliberate self-harm in local suicide prevention plans
- screening for alcohol use when patients present with common mental health problems, taking into account a typical under-reporting of alcohol consumption by 40-45%
- a greater focus on needs-based treatment rather than diagnosis-led services.
You can read further recommendations in the full submission below.