The first working paper of the Mental Health in Mind project shows how changes in government policy and broader social trends have impacted on mental health issues.

Mental health is one of Government's top three priorities for the health service and has seen sustained policy activism and extra resources. Yet despite both money and activity, there is a widespread sense of unease that improvements are not happening fast enough and not making a real difference to the lives of service users.

Mental health has suffered from a legacy of under-resourcing, public stigma and mistrust of medical professionals, which all combine to create distinctive challenges for the mental health reform.

This working paper aims to show how the changes introduced by Government policy, as well as broader social trends, have had an impact on the development of mental health services and aims to highlight some contrasting developments and tensions within policy.