Statement on Sustainability in Mental Health

The Royal College of Psychiatrists Sustainability Summit has produced a statement on Sustainability in Mental Health 

Sustainability in mental health is the ability to provide high value care now and in the future in the face of environmental, economic and social constraints.

Climate change presents an unprecedented and urgent threat to human health and survival. All health professionals have a duty to advocate for action at all levels to mitigate climate change. Mental health professionals have a particular duty to educate people about the mental health effects of climate change, and the psychology of climate change denial.

Sustainable care in mental health acts to: 

  1. Prevent mental illness, build social capital and promote individual, social and community resilience and mental wellbeing 
  2. Empower patients, staff and carers to manage their mental health 
  3. Eliminate wasteful activity
  4. Make use of low carbon alternatives 

Reducing over-medication, adopting a recovery approach, exploiting the therapeutic value of natural settings and nurturing support networks are examples that can improve patient care while reducing economic and environmental costs.