The Conservatives have released their manifesto.
It includes a number of plans for mental health. These include:
- Making the UK the leading research and technology economy in the world for mental health, bringing together public, private and charitable investment
- Reforming laws to ensure that those with mental illness are treated fairly and employers fulfil their responsibilities effectively
- Amending healthand safety regulations so that employers provide appropriate first aid training and needs-assessment for mental health, as they currently do for risks to physical health, and extending Equalities Act protections against discrimination to mental health conditions that are episodic and fluctuating.
The BPC would welcome extensive research on mental health and would be keen to input in to this research. We would also welcom any legal protections and regulations which protect the rights and wellbeing of employees experiencing mental illness.
We are, however, concerned that the manifesto does not mention any of the calls which we have submitted to all parties. Our calls include introducing a wider range of psychological therapies, including psychoanalytic psychotherapy, on the NHS, so that patients are able to access an appropriate treatment which enables them to recover. We have also called in recent months for ring-fencing of the mental health budget, which would ensure that money allocated to mental health services reaches them, leading to support for more patients.
Gary Fereday, BPC CEO, said: ‘Mental health has come a long way up the political agenda in recent years and I am pleased that the Conservative manifesto makes pledge on a number of important issues for mental health. Improving the research and technology on mental health would undoubtedly help a considerable number of people currently experiencing mental ill health. It is also right that employees experiencing mental ill health should be protected in the workplace. However, I am concerned that the manifesto makes no mention of psychological therapies nor does it acknowledge that a lot of the money allocated for mental health is not making it to the frontline. We know that many patients urgently require a wider range of psychological treatments and that services desperately need more money. We will continue to press the case on these and a number of other important matters.'