The Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, has launched a new vision for the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) focused on prevention. In a vision statement entitled ‘Prevention is better than cure’, the Health Secretary set out the Department's intentions to focus spending on prevention ahead of a green paper expected in 2019.

Laid out in three parts, the 'Prevention Vision' describes why prevention matters for public health, ways in which health problems could be prevented from arising, and how those already living with a health need can be supported. The health secretary outlines how “greater focus, and spending, is required on prevention, not just cure”, and that pre-primary, primary, and community care services are to receive more support.

Regarding public mental health, the announcement also highlights the importance of “doing everything we can” to protect and improve children’s mental health and the role that schools can play in supporting this. In the workplace, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is cited as one preventative measure in a case study on food manufacturer Rodda’s, which is set to introduce MHFA training to “help them (staff) understand how to take care of their own mental health and the mental health of others.”

The goals of the strategy include improving life expectancy by five years by 2035, reducing loneliness and social isolation, and improving wellbeing in the workplace. DHSC announced the vision with a supporting hashtag to get the UK public #livingbetterlonger.

The full announcement can be read on the Department of Health & Social Care website.

You can read more about the MHFA England Youth MHFA in Schools programme, which is funded by the Department of Health & Social Care, here.