It is amazing that mental health is finally being spoken about in the run up to the election and now with the election just days away it feels like it is time to really look at the information we have at hand to make the important decision as to who we want in power. Here are each party’s mental health manifestos:
The Conservative Party
The conservatives say that:
- They are increasing funding for mental health.
- They will ensure that there are therapists in every part of the country providing treatment to those who need it.
- They will enforce new access and waiting times for mental health services.
- They will ensure proper provision of health and community-based places of safety for those experiencing a mental health crisis.
- They will ensure that women have access to mental health services during and after pregnancy.
- They will review how to best support those with long-term but treatable conditions back into work.
- They are suggesting that people who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need to get them back into work. If they refuse a recommended treatment then they will review whether benefits should be reduced.
- They are also saying that they will provide new mental health support which will benefit thousands of people claiming out-of-work benefits or being supported by Fit For Work.
The Green Party
The green party say that:
- They will ensure that nobody waits more than 28 days for talking therapies.
- They will ensure that anybody experiencing a mental health crisis has safe and speedy access to quality care 24/7.
- They also say that the use of police cells as a ‘place of safety’ for children should be eliminated by 2016 and that by the end of the next parliament cells should only be used for adults in exceptional circumstances.
- They will ensure that everyone who requires a mental health bed should be able to access one in their local area unless they need specialist care and treatment.
- They will give higher priority to the physical healthcare of those with mental health problems.
- They will pay special attention to any mental health issues of mothers during and after pregnancy, children and adolescents, black and ethnic minority people, refugees, the LGBTIQ communities and ex-service people and their families.
- They will implement a campaign to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health through supporting the Time To Change programme.
- They will offer employment support to those with mental health problems.
- They will also consider offering more personalised job seeking support for people with mental health problems.
The Labour Party
The labour party say that:
- NHS staff training will include mental health.
- People will have the same right to psychological therapies as they do to drugs and medical treatments.
- They will set out a strategy with the goal of ensuring that the majority of patients can access talking therapies within 28 days. Also, all children who need it will have access to school-based counselling.
- They will increase the proportion of the mental health budget that is spent on children whilst also making sure that teachers have training so that they can spot problems earlier on.
- To support young people’s health and well being they will encourage the development of social and emotional skills.
- They will overhaul the Work Capability Assessment.
- They will ensure that there are no targets for sanctions in Jobcentre Plus.
- They will also commission a new specialist Work Support programme which will include working with local authorities to give more support to those with disabilities in employment.
The Liberal Democrats
The liberal democrats say that:
- They will continue to roll out access and waiting time standards.
- They will continue to support the Time To Change programme.
- They will ensure that no one in a mental health crisis is turned away through new waiting time standards and better crisis care.
- They will radically transform mental health services by extending the use of personal budgets, integrating care with the rest of the NHS, introducing rigorous inspection and high quality standards as well as comprehensive collection of data.
- They will introduce care navigators to help people find their way around the system.
- They will support good practice among employers in promoting well being.
- They will establish a world-leading mental health research fund.
- They will develop a clear approach on preventing mental illness.
- They will simplify and streamline back-to-work support for people with mental health problems.
- They will raise awareness of Access To Work which supports people with disabilities in work, they will also seek to expand it.
- They will ensure that all front line public service professionals receive better training in mental health.
UKIP say that:
- They will fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and support those seeking to get back into work.
- They will direct patients with debilitating long-term conditions or terminal illness to mental health professionals when appropriate.
- They will ensure that patients experiencing distress or exhibiting mental health problems when admitted to hospital have both their physical health and mental well being assessed.
- They recognise that there is often a link between addiction and mental illness and that they will offer appropriate treatment when this is the case.
- They will offer direct access to specialist mental health services for women who are pregnant or have a child under the age of one.
- They will end the post code lottery for psychiatric liaison services in acute hospitals and A&E departments.
- To fund their initiatives they will increase mental health funding by £170 million annually.
- They will also end unfair ATOS-style Work Capability Assessments and return assessments to GPs or specialist consultants.
Plaid Cymru say:
- They will increase access to talking therapies.
- They will fund support for eating disorders and drug and alcohol treatment.
- They will increase resources for mental health services for young people in Wales.
- They will help prisoners with mental health problems by improving co-operation between the prison service and health and substance misuse services.
- They will encourage employers to provide support for staff experiencing mental health problems.
- They will help those who have the most difficulty finding work, including those with disabilities.
- They will achieve this by dealing with people fairly and also by focusing on what people can do on a day-to-day basis without the threat of sanctions.
The Scottish National Party say:
- They have already committed £15 million to a mental health innovation fund and that they will seek to increase this investment over the next five years to £100 million.
- Their resources will be directed towards projects that will improve mental health treatments.
- The fund will also go towards child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
- They will demand an urgent review of the sanctions regime and that this review will take into account the particular needs of those who have a mental health condition.
- They also say that Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce waiting time targets for mental health services.