The House of Lords has voted to give mental and physical wellbeing equal weighting through an amendment to the health and social care bill.
For generations mental health has often being regarded as a lesser concern than physical ailments, resulting in a poor knowledge of the condition within society. This has generated social stigmas, feelings of alienation, and substandard treatment and medical response.
Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Centre for Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation put forward the revisions to the House of Lords and have welcomed the change.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, stated: "We are absolutely delighted that this amendment has been passed. For the first time there will be legal recognition that mental health is just as important as physical health in the NHS."
Making the change also complements the government's 2011 mental health strategy, he adds.
However, the bill must pass through the House of Commons before it is officially law.
Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.