The mental health debate: the reaction
As you know, yesterday in the House of Commons, there was a historic debate on mental health.
MPs from all parties talked about their own experiences of mental health, with some very moving accounts from Kevan Jones and Charles Walker.
We said before the debate that prioritising children and young people's mental health is crucial - and health minister Paul Burstow said in his contribution:
Given that we know that the first signs of more than half of all lifelong mental illnesses can be detected in adolescence, we have to go further. That is why the Government are breaking new ground by investing in a new training-led approach to re-equip children and young people’s mental health services to offer a range of psychological therapies. I pay tribute to the leadership shown by YoungMinds. Without its support, we would not have come as far in this area as fast as we have."
Alison Seabeck MP agreed, and pointed out:
YoungMinds, which was praised by the Minister, is concerned by the service cuts and reductions in provision for child and adolescent mental health. We also have to address an issue about the transition from support in that area into adulthood. That area needs a lot more attention."
Gavin Barwell, the MP for Croydon Central, is introducing a Private Members' Bill next Wednesday to champion the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill and to lead it through Parliament to become law. He said on his website:
At the moment there are certain aspects of law that encourage discrimination against people with mental health problems. It can’t be right that current legislation can prevent someone from contemplating becoming an MP, serving on a jury, being the director of a company or helping out as school governor. This outdated way of thinking is entirely wrong and needs to be addressed.”