Today the Prime Minister has launched a new package of wide-ranging measures to tackle mental health issues.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with reports from both England and Wales suggesting that approximately 1 in 8 adults receiving treatment for their mental health problem.
The Government has therefore pledged to overhaul the mental health system to stamp out unequal access to services and treatment, with better access to education, training and support across communities.
Part of this package includes:
- Training and new materials for all new teachers on spotting the signs of mental health issues
- Training for 1.2 million NHS staff on suicide prevention
- Funding for local authorities and social workers
- The launch of a new mental health awareness campaign – Every Mind Matters – in October 2019
The Prime Minister has also announced:
- Better support for new parents
- £1 million for a competition to find innovative new ways to support mental health at universities and colleges
- Commitment to overhaul the Mental Health Act to make it fit for modern society
These measures, and more, will go to ensuring that everyone, no matter of their background, age, ethnicity or postcode, will get access to the treatment and services they need.
This announcement coincides with Loneliness Awareness Week – 17th to 21st June 2019 - which is seen as one of the largest mental health problems we face. Up to a fifth of all UK adults feel lonely most or all of the time and with evidence showing loneliness can be as bad for health as obesity or smoking.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, worked on the Government’s first Loneliness Strategy as Minister of State for Care back in Autumn 2018, looking to connect communities, address isolation and find innovative ways to ensure that people feel that they are not alone.
“Mental health does not discriminate, so nor should our services. I am pleased to see that the government has recognised that what we have been doing hasn’t been enough to tackle the mental health issues that our society is facing.
“This overhaul is a commitment to those who have been overlooked and now deserve the treatment and care to help them tackle their problems.”
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Chair, Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, said:
“Theresa May deserves credit for drawing attention to those with the most severe mental illnesses yet who are the most overlooked.
“The recommendations of the review of mental health legislation that she commissioned have been warmly welcomed from all sides but now need to be acted on.
“Today’s announcements are a further welcome step towards that goal.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Too many of us have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of mental illness, which is why tackling this burning injustice has always been a personal priority for me.
“But we should never accept a rise in mental health problems as inevitable.
“It’s time to rethink how we tackle this issue, which is why I believe the next great revolution in mental health should be in prevention.
“The measures we’ve launched today will make sure at every stage of life, for people of all backgrounds, preventing mental illness gets the urgent attention it deserves.”