Image: Sian Elvin

Manifesto Roundup: Mental Health

In the final buildup to the General Election, the Boar has looked at what the major party manifestos have to say on a number of issues. Here is a summary for mental health.

The Conservative Party
• Invest £1 billion in mental health services by 2021.
• Recruit up to 10,000 more mental health professionals.
• Require all medical staff to have a deeper understanding of mental health issues.
• Aim to make the UK economy the leading in the world for research and technology regarding mental health.
• Publish a green paper on young people’s mental health by the end of this year.
• New 35-year Mental Health Bill to support mental health in the workplace.
• Train one million people in basic mental health public awareness and first aid.
• Introduce mental health training for all primary school teachers and include mental wellbeing and health risks in the curriculum.
• Extend protections under the Equalities Act to mental health conditions that are fluctuating or episodic.
• Emphasis on “parity of esteem” to the treatment of mental health in the NHS in relation to physical illness, and working towards removing the stigma surrounding mental illness.
• Continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in mental health organisations as well as other public services.
• Ensure Police and Crime Commissioners sit on local health boards to better co-ordinate crime prevention with drug, alcohol and mental health services.
• Employers hiring those with chronic mental health conditions that have found it difficult to find work in the past will be offered a “holiday” on their National Insurance Contributions for a year.
• Continue to expand the number of NHS approved apps that can monitor care and provide support for mental health conditions.

The Labour Party
• Give mental health the same priority as physical health in not only access to services but improving them.
• Extend school-based counselling to all schools at cost of £90 million per year.
• Ring-fence the mental health budget.
• Increase proportion of mental health budget spent on children and young people.
• Bring forward the ending of out-of-area placements to 2019, which currently sees people sent to hospitals in other parts of the country for treatment.
• Stop children being treated on adult wards.
• Ensure access to counselling for all children in secondary school.
• Ask the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to evaluate the potential for increasing the choice of therapies on offer.
• Implement court decision to ensure parity between physical and mental health conditions for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
• Implement a Tobacco Control Plan focusing on issues of mental health and young smokers.

The Liberal Democrats
• Deliver equality between mental and physical health.
• Ring fence funding from the 1p income tax to provide additional investment for mental health care.
• Guarantee that people with depression or anxiety will not wait more than six weeks for therapy and no young person will wait longer than two weeks after first episode of psychosis.
• Transform mental health care to ensure waiting time standards match those in physical health care.
• Support innovation in empowering staff and patients and learn from social enterprises that deliver mental health services.
• Examine case for introducing service dedicated entirely to young people in line with the Australian ‘headspace’ model.
• End out-of-area placements.
• Continue investing in schemes such as Frontline and Think Ahead which look to direct top graduates into careers in mental health and social care.
• Ensure teachers have the skills to identify mental health problems in schools.
• Introduce ‘wellbeing premium’ to reward employers who take action to significantly improve the mental health of their employees.
• Tackle the stigma surrounding mental heath, whilst also working to improve and continue services for pregnant women and the LGBT+ community.
• Expand the Liaison and Diversion scheme nationwide to identify those with mental health problems straight away when they come into contact with the criminal justice system

The Green Party
• Bring mental health care into line with physical health care.
• Ensure people suffering from mental health issues are treated close to their homes.
• Introduce mental health awareness training in the public sector to encourage “a more open dialogue on the issue in wider society”.

The UK Independence Party
• Increase funding for mental health by at least £500 million every year.
• Put mental wellbeing on the same footing as physical healthcare in terms of access to treatment and funding.
• Cut waiting time between referral and first appointment to a maximum of 28 days.
• Smooth the transition between mental health services for children and adults.
• Integrate mental health training into the teacher training syllabus and develop a national school-based counselling strategy for England.
• Specialist counselling services available in every secondary school.
• Integrate mental wellbeing into medical exams for serving military personnel in ‘at risk’ roles and allow them to access DHMS schemes two years after discharge.
• Provide direct access to specialist mental health treatment for all pregnant women and mothers of children under 12 months of age.
• Address and treat strong link between mental illness and addiction.

For a round-up of manifesto policies on education, click here.

For a round-up of manifesto policies on immigration and international students, click here.

For the results of our survey on how Warwick students intend to vote, click here.

Interviews with local candidates are available below:

Warwick and Leamington

Coventry South


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