Delivering the annual Charity Commission lecture today, Prime Minister Theresa May will announce a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities in England.
The Prime Minister will say that true parity for mental and physical health can only be achieved if every institution recognises the vital role it can play in delivering this objective.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to say: “For too long mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health. Yet left unaddressed, it destroys lives, it separates people from each other and deepens the divisions within our society. Changing this goes right to the heart of our humanity; to the heart of the kind of country we are, the values we share, the attitudes we hold and our determination to come together and support each other.
“I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society, and at every stage of life.
“What I am announcing are the first steps in our plan to transform the way we deal with mental illness in this country at every stage of a person’s life: not in our hospitals, but in our classrooms, at work and in our communities.
“This starts with ensuring that children and young people get the help and support they need and deserve – because we know that mental illness too often starts in childhood and that when left untreated, can blight lives, and become entrenched.”
The plans includes:
- new support for schools with every secondary school in England
- 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 expand treatment by investing in digital mental health services
- new ways to right the injustices people with mental health problems face.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“It’s important to see the Prime Minister talking about mental health and shows how far we have come in bringing the experiences of people with mental health problems up the political agenda. Mental health should be at the heart of government, and at the heart of society and communities – it’s been on the periphery for far too long.”
“We welcome the announcements around a focus on prevention in schools and workplaces and support for people in crisis. The proof will be in the difference it makes to the day-to-day experience of the 1 in 4 who will experience a mental health problem this year. Mental health is everyone’s business and we need to see sustained leadership to make sure services and support improve for all of us with mental health problems. Having been neglected for decades, we need to see it made a priority for decades to come to make sure everyone with mental health problems can live the life they want to lead.
Matthew Pearce Head of Communications Hafal