MS and Mental Health
16 May 2023
We know the unpredictability and uncertainty of MS can sometimes affect people’s mental health and wellbeing. That’s why we’ve joined forces with five other MS organisations to better understand the mental health experiences of people living with MS.
This joint policy position was produced in May 2023 by six charities that support the MS community: MS Society, MS Trust, Overcoming MS, MS-UK, Shift.MS and Neuro Therapy Network (formerly known an MS National Therapy Centres).
We wanted to understand how having MS can affect people’s mental health, and how people’s mental health can affect their MS symptoms. We also wanted to understand what needs to change so everyone can access mental health support when they need it.
This joint policy position summarises what people with MS told us about their wellbeing and mental health. It also lists our policy recommendations for change. Here are some of our recommendations:
We need a NHS neurological conditions mental health pathway, to give people with MS access to appropriate mental health support.
A new mental health training package should be developed for the neurology workforce. This should cover how to compassionately diagnose people with MS, identify people’s mental health needs and signpost people to relevant support.
People with MS, and their carers, should be offered an annual comprehensive review that covers all of their needs, including mental health and cognitive needs.