An outdoor picture of a young woman with a light skin tone and long dark hair, which is falling forward as she leans down. She is sitting in a wheelchair and reaching down to pat a light coloured, short haired dog with her right hand, her left holding the dog's lead. She smiling at the dog, which is looking to the side of our image.

We know that psychological, physical and social care and services need to change to meet the demands of today’s world. In the past few years, since COVID:

  • People with existing mental ill health have seen their problems get worse.
  • About 20,000 people have new anxiety and depression, of which around 10,000 are likely to ask for support.
  • Pressure on the NHS workforce and demand for services has increased.
  • More people are dealing with more than one mental health diagnosis and need specialist care and support, for example neurodivergence.

There are also more barriers to get the care you need, including:

  • Not receiving a diagnosis.
  • Not enough time to provide the care and support you need.
  • Services that are full or over-flowing and can’t accept anyone else.
  • You don’t meet the set criteria for treatments and/or care.

Government policy

The improvement of mental health care and support is a national priority set out in the governments NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20–2023/24.

It is also a regional priority stated in the West Yorkshire and Leeds Integrated Care boards’ mental health strategies.

There are structures in place to ensure that money is available to pay for the improvements and that we meet national and regional standards.

In Leeds, £4.72 million has been invested during 2023/2024 to inform, design, develop and start to deliver improved community mental health care and support. This money is being used to introduce new services and care and to improve those already existing, so they meet the needs of local communities.