Mental health and learning disability milestones through the decades

Since the NHS was founded on 5 July 1948 there have been huge changes in the way we think about mental health and learning disability – and in how we support people. Take a look at some of the key milestones and developments over the last 70 years and how they have affected what we do in Devon.

In

2018

It is estimated that around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability, and around 350,000 people have a severe learning disability.  Around one in four of us is likely to have a mental health problem at some point in our life.  Awareness and understanding have greatly improved, but the challenge to eradicate stigma and put mental health on an equal footing with physical health continues.

In 2018

In

2018

Building work begins on the Wonford House site in Exeter for a new Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and a new Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), both scheduled to open in 2019.

In

2018

Dr Peter Aitken, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Research and Development talks about ongoing research into mental health conditions and how Devon is at the forefront of developments.

In 2017

In

2017

Young members of the Royal Family launch the Heads Together campaign to encourage discussion about mental health.

Read more

In

2015

The North Devon Self Harm and Suicide Prevention group was set up. In 2017 this became the Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance (DTSPA). Listen to Marie, a Peer Support Worker, talk about issues surrounding mental health and suicide.

In 2015

In

2015

Samaritans launch their free-to-call helpline for those struggling with their mental wellbeing and suicidal thoughts.

Read more

In

2015

Devon Partnership NHS Trust redesigns their learning disability services to improve access to services. Listen above to Katy, Learning Disability Nurse Team Leader, talk about these changes.

In 2015

In

2015

Building the Right Support paper is published - a national plan to develop community services and close inpatient facilities for people with a learning disability.

Read more

In 2014

In

2014

The Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service is launched in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society.

Read more

In 2014

In

2014

The NHS Five Year Forward View is published. It pointed out that one in four of us will experience mental health problems, and mental illness is the single largest cause of disability. 

Read more

In 2013

In

2013

The £27m Dewnans Centre opens, as one of the most modern medium secure facilities in the country.

Read more

In 2013

In

2013

The Confidential Inquiry into the deaths of people with learning disabilities (CIPOLD) is tasked with investigating the avoidable or premature deaths of people with learning disabilities through a series of retrospective reviews of deaths.

Read more