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Grant awarded to improve mental health care

9th March 2007

The government has announced it is to devote £1 million to research aimed at improving mental health care and the implementation of the mental health bill.

The grant will be divided between two research projects, awarded through the National Institute for Health Research.

The first project will explore the Supervised Community Treatment (SCT) project, which aims to allow more patients to live safely in the community while under supervision, enabling them to rebuild their lives. SCT is expected to be introduced in 2008.

Professor Louis Appleby says SCT helps to "solve the problem of 'revolving door' patients", pointing to its success in countries already operating the scheme.

He says the research will "shape the clinical care that we provide for people who, because of illness, are at risk because they do not see their need for treatment".

The second project seeks to address inequalities in the number of patients from ethnic minorities detained under the Mental Health Act.

It is hoped that the research will come up with innovative methods to improve outcomes for mentally ill patients from minority groups, including an examination of the effect of early intervention.