The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged to tackle the ‘hidden injustice’ and stigma surrounding mental health in the UK.
During an event at the Charity Commission she gave a promise to transform the attitudes currently held regarding mental health. Much of the initiatives outlined will be aimed at the younger generation and school children, for whom services are currently woefully inadequate.
There will be training for teachers, an additional £15m for community care and an investment of £67.5m in to online services for selfchecks.
The government stated that at any time 1 in 4 people has a mental health condition (hence the name of this site), and that this has a cost of £105 billion.
The announcement stated:
- All secondary schools will be offered mental health first aid training
- There will be trials aimed at strengthening links between schools and NHS specialist staff
- By 2021, no child will be sent away from their local area to receive treatment for mental health issues
- Mental health campaigner Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer, chief executive of the charity Mind, are to carry out a review on improving support in the workplace
- There will be given additional training in supporting staff who need time away from work
- An increased focus on community care, including an extra £15m towards this, with a reduced emphasis on patients visiting GPs and A&E
- £67.7m for online services, such as allowing symptom checks before getting a face-to-face appointment
- A review of the “health debt form”, under which patients are charged up to £300 by a GP for documentation to prove to debt collectors that they have mental health issues
All of this sounds good, however of course wee have seen in the past that such pledges have not flowed trough to changes on the ground. It is up to all of us to keep the government to its word and not allow back tracking on these commitments.