Thank you to everyone who got in touch with me about mental health.
I absolutely share your concern about the state of mental health services in this country, particularly for young people. It is utterly shameful that two-fifths of patients waiting for mental health treatment are forced to contact emergency or crisis services before they ever get to the front of the queue, with one in ten ending up in A&E.
While the Tories’ record of failure and inaction continues, Labour has announced a comprehensive plan for mental health services, designed to fix this national health emergency and ensure that nobody facing mental health difficulties is left for months without support. Our plans include:
- Setting a new NHS target, to ensure that patients start receiving appropriate treatment – not simply an initial assessment of needs – within one month of referral
- Recruiting 8,500 new staff so that one million additional people can access treatment every year by the end of Labour’s first term in office
- Putting an open access mental health hub for children and young people in every community, providing early intervention, drop-in services
- Putting a full-time mental health professional in every secondary school and a part time professional in every primary school, so that pupils can receive support before problems escalate
- Improving service quality, bringing in the first ever long-term, whole-government plan for improving mental health outcomes, making early-intervention a reality, and broadening the range of services available for those with severe mental health illnesses
- Giving mental health its fair share of funding, with a pledge that NHS spending on mental health will never fall and that every time new funding is provided to the NHS, mental health funding receives its fair share.
I’m proud that Labour, as the party of the NHS, is committed to this transformation of mental health services when we are in government. In the meantime, please rest assured that I will continue to hold the Tories to account for their utter failure to safeguard our nation’s mental health.