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

2009

Marie, Peer Support Worker, talks about her personal recovery journey. "In June 2009 I took what I call my last big overdose, and attempt on my life, which actually brought about my recovery."

In 2009

In

2009

Time to Change is launched – England’s most ambitious programme to end discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems.

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In 2008

In

2008

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is launched nationally to transform the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. Known as the Depression and Anxiety Service in Devon.

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In 2007

In

2007

A £3.6m project to redevelop the inpatient services at North Devon District Hospital is completed in May. The project involved the construction of a purpose-built 36 bed mental health unit for adults.

In 2006

In

2006

Following a pilot in North Devon, The Haldon Unit opens in Exeter, providing care and treatment for people with an eating disorder.

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In 2005

In

2005

Mental Capacity Act is published. The Act protects the rights of those who do not have the capacity to make decisions – often people with severe mental health needs or a learning disability. 

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In 2004

In

2004

MINDFUL EMPLOYER is launched by Workways, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Iprovides businesses and organisations with easier access to information and support for staff who experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions. Nearly 2,000 employers have signed up since it began in 2004.

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In

2003

Peter Aitken talks about his passion for liaison psychiatry and the creation of this specialist service in Devon and the importance of this role in the Emergency Departments.

In 2003

In

2003

'Bonkers Bruno' - headline in The Sun  sparks outrage leading to a demand to change the way the press talk about mental illness.

In 2003

In

2003

Recovery Devon is launched. A partnership, including people with lived experience of mental health issues and their supporters and family, alongside mental health practitioners, now an independent Community Interest Company.

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In 2001

In

2001

Devon Partnership NHS Trust is created. Formerly nine different NHS trusts and organisations provided mental health and learning disability services across Devon.

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In 2001

In

2001

Valuing People is launched by the Department of Health. It promises that all people with learning disabilities and their families will have greater choice and get the healthcare and support they need to live healthy lives. Listen to a story from Katy, Learning Disability Nurse Team Leader.

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