Gary Berry, Baroness Gale, Steve Ford and Dr Rob Skelly at the parliamentary launch of the mental health report

MPs show their support for improving Parkinson’s mental health services

Date

On Wednesday 9 May 2018 people with Parkinson's, health professionals and members of parliament came together for the launch of a groundbreaking report on the care of people with Parkinson's experiencing anxiety and depression.

Unmet mental health needs

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Parkinson's (PDF, 1.6MB) found people are waiting months and in some cases years to receive support. When people are seen, the care they receive is often not tailored to their needs.

"There was no support, which was very distressing for my father and the family. There was a total lack of understanding about the link between Parkinson's and mental health concerns, from both healthcare professionals and social services." Carer of a person with Parkinson's

The report makes a number of recommendations to improve services for people with Parkinson's experiencing anxiety and depression.

These include:

  • having a person's physical and mental health needs looked at holistically
  • better training for health professionals
  • further research into the most effective treatment options

Gary Berry, who has Parkinson's, gave evidence to the inquiry and shared his experience at the launch event. He said:

"I've been able to give those with the power an honest account of the lack of support I received for my anxiety and depression. I hope this helps improve services for people like me who have struggled with Parkinson's and mental health issues."

Steve Ford, Chief Executive of Parkinson's UK, said:

"Parkinson's has always been recognised as a 'movement disorder'. But this outdated view has tainted modern care practices that are effectively treating just half of the condition — addressing only the physical aspects and ignoring the psychological symptoms.

"It is encouraging to see so many people with Parkinson's and decision makers here discussing how mental health services for people with Parkinson's can be improved."

Tell your MP that mental health matters too

Play your part in our campaign to improve mental health services for people with Parkinson's by sharing the APPG report with your MP.

For more information on the report and our work to improve mental health services for people with Parkinson's visit our mental health campaign page.