With only a few days to go until the General Election, we believe it’s important to know what the big three political parties are contributing to the debate that surrounds mental health.
Below you’ll find a run-through of what each party is pledging, and what they plan to do should they win a majority on 8th June.
Despite Brexit, security and pensions dominating the front pages, it’s good to see the current government hasn’t neglected its duty to those suffering with their mental health.
Stand out policies include a pledge to hire 10,000 more mental health workers by 2020 and mental health support in all schools and large companies. Theresa May has also promised to fund the Samaritans helpline up until 2022 and review how best to support those suffering from long term, treatable issues back into work.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Conservatives have also promised to tear up the Mental Health Act in a bid to reduce the number of ‘unnecessary’ detentions that take place each year across the UK. How will a new act be formed? May has already stated that should the Conservatives win the election, the party will work with mental health charities to form new guidelines.
Read more from the Conservative manifesto here.
In the past few weeks, the odds of Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next Prime Minister have become much more likely, and it’s easy to see why his policies have attracted so much praise in the run up to the General Election.
Indeed, when it comes to mental health, Labour’s approach is typically forward thinking. Key policies include an overhaul of NHS staff training to include mental health practices, an overhaul of the Work Capability Assessment and an increase in the amount of mental health budget that is spent on children.
Corbyn has also promised to provide training for teachers so that they can identify mental health problems in the classroom early – again highlighting the leader’s dedication to both mental health and public services as a whole.
Read more from the Labour manifesto here.
Targeting younger voters, the Liberal Democrats and Tim Farron are promising to oppose Brexit, retain the free movement of EU citizens and reinstate housing benefits for 18-21 year olds – but when it comes to mental health, are the centrists keeping in touch?
The short answer is: yes. Sure, the party’s policies in regard to mental health might not be as extreme as those of Labour or the Tories, but a promise to continue rolling out access and waiting time standards, as well as a pledge to ensure that nobody in crisis is turned away shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Other pledges include the formation of a fund to establish a ‘world leading’ mental health research fund and the introduction of care navigators to help people find their way around a tricky NHS system.
Read more from the Liberal Democrat manifest here.
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