Mental health network

Prime Minister unveils plans to transform mental health support

10 Downing Street

In her first major speech of the year, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has outlined a package of measures to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities.

The Prime Minister used the annual Charity Commission lecture today to outline her vision for parity of esteem, stating that this can only be achieved if every institution recognises the role it plays in delivering this objective.

The new measures outlined, include the following:

  • New support for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff.
  • A thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services across the country led by the CQC and a new green paper on children and young people’s mental health to set out the plans to transform services in schools, universities and for families.
  • A new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace.
  • Further alternatives to hospital to support people in the community.
  • Plans to rapidly expand treatment by investing in and expanding digital mental health services.
  • Ending the unfair practice of patients being charged up to £300 by their GP for a form to prove they have mental health issues.
  • Government support for NHS England’s commitment to eliminate inappropriate placements to inpatient beds for children and young people by 2021.

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, said:

“The Prime Minister’s welcome vision for mental health reflects our members’ own experiences on the front line where it is clear that greater parity alongside physical care would be an effective way to begin improving public health.

“Mental health is worsening among children and there is too much variation in the care available to people of all ages. Increasing the public’s own awareness and acceptance of mental health is also an important step in helping people to seek help at the earliest time.

“Mental health services still need the Government’s support to speed-up promised funding, much of which is delayed, but we are very pleased that mental health is being accepted as a major priority going forward.” 

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