The 2019 General Election and Mental Health - What do we want from a new Government?

At time of writing, the two main parties have not yet published their full election manifestos, so we are taking this opportunity to speak openly to candidates and pass on our own hopes and priorities.

Here are five issues important to MHNE which we would like to see on any agenda for change:

  1. Service user peer networks and workers funded in all regions of UK
  2. Non medical interventions such as access to the countryside and countryside activities to be funded as action research projects and findings published – in addition to social prescriptions
  3. Re-establishment of an effective CAMHS service— with investment in research and emphasis on prevention of childhood mental ill health
  4. Medications to be monitored and produced by a government run organisational
  5. All parliamentary papers on mental health to be written by Independent Organisations without interference from drug companies

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute have published a manifesto (which MHNE would like to endorse) with five ways the next government should take action to boost the mental and financial wellbeing of people across the country. In it, they highlight the link between suicide and financial difficulty, suggesting that money advice be made available as part of NHS care and making it easier and safer for carers to support loved ones with money management.

They want to see more help for people with mental health problems to stay in work — and greater support for those too unwell to do so. Finally they are advocating for greater regulation to stop firms profiting from consumers’ poor mental health.

The Centre for Mental Health focuses on inequality:   "If the next Government is to make a real difference to the nation’s mental health, election promises and policy ideas need to look beyond the ‘one in four’ rhetoric to grapple with underlying inequality. It means tackling poverty, homelessness and school exclusions among the most disadvantaged and marginalised young people." Link here.

Mind say that real change is urgently needed, as people’s lives continue to be put at risk by overstretched services, outdated legislation and employment issues, crumbling NHS mental health buildings, and services that continue to struggle after decades of underfunding.  Here is their manifesto.