Rethink Mental Illness marks the 75th anniversary of the NHS

05 July 2023

Today marks 75 years since the NHS was founded, the first universal health service to be free to all at the point of need. Since then it has supported millions of people, including those living with mental illness. 

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“The NHS is now engrained in our national DNA, founded under the nearly universally-supported principle of services free at the point of need, and delivered by staff working tirelessly day-in and day-out under challenging circumstances to support people including those living with mental illness. The 75th anniversary of the NHS offers us a chance to celebrate its existence, reflect on progress made, and highlight what must change to build a health service we can all be proud of now and into the future.

“The last decade has seen mental health increasingly prioritised within the NHS, with real efforts made to improve mental health services, a shift in focus to early intervention and prevention in the community, and people with lived experience given more of a voice in how services are designed and run. But significant challenges lie ahead in ensuring services are properly-resourced so that they can support people swiftly, safely and compassionately against a backdrop of growing demand. This will only be achieved with real political will and through sustained partnership between government, the health service, the voluntary sector and most importantly people with lived experience, who must be placed at the heart of it all.”