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Ahead of the publication of parties' political manifestos, MHFA England welcomes recent announcements by the Green Party, the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats on prospective mental health policies. These announcements come following the Conservative Party’s pledges to provide 10,000 more mental health staff by 2020, to amend the Mental Health Act to tackle unnecessary detention, and to include mental illness in first aid regulations.
On Wednesday in Worcester, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley announced three key pledges regarding mental health policy. As well as pledges on timely provision of therapy and new mental health initiatives in school, the party has also committed to give mental health parity of esteem with physical health.
Similarly, the Labour party has pledged to create a minister for mental health as part of a drive to deliver parity of esteem and has committed to ringfencing mental health budgets.
In addition to this, former health minister Normal Lamb MP this week stated that, of the £6bn NHS investment promised by the Liberal Democrats, £1bn will also be ringfenced for mental health provision, with the party also committing to the introduction of maximum waiting times for mental health treatment.
Poppy Jaman, CEO, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, commented, “As we enter this election period we’re delighted to see that mental health is at the forefront of political parties’ pledges. Parity of esteem between mental and physical health is one of our long-terms goals, so to see political leaders making commitments to this directly and in the form of investment pledges is really encouraging. We are committed to working with government to play a part in supporting both the public and private sector in improving approaches to mental health through the provision of Mental Health First Aid.”