The Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a significant speech today pledging to transform attitudes to mental health with a sharper focus on mental health in schools and workplaces (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38548567). Responding to this, David Smith Chief Executive of Hull and East Yorkshire Mind says
“It’s not so long ago that mental health was so stigmatised and side-lined there was little likelihood any Prime Minister would make so direct and compelling call for change. Theresa May’s words today echo what we see on the ground every day and make crystal clear the devastating impact mental ill-health can have on our lives and communities. Much has been said on this from different governments before. Strategies, policies, funding, reorganisations. Some things have worked but our core approach to mental health care is still far too fragmented, under resourced and in places dysfunctional.
The specific focus on schools and the workplace is right. Hull and East Yorkshire Mind are already working in both these areas and the opportunity to expand this work to help more people will lead to real improvements. Digital healthcare has its place but it must never become a cheap alternative to face-to-face support for those who need it. Dealing with the problem of GP’s charging to fill out paperwork is long overdue and one that needs resolving quickly.
I sincerely hope the initiatives outlined today happen quickly and become a catalyst for wider change. Mental Health is not just a health service responsibility; our education, housing, employment, relationships and finances all play a critical part in keeping us well, they are the fundamental building blocks for recovery and good mental health.”