Centre for Mental Health today welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to improve mental health support in schools, to enhance suicide prevention measures and to tackle some of the many injustices faced by people with mental health problems.

Responding to today’s speech by the Prime Minister to the Charity Commission, Centre for Mental Health deputy chief executive Andy Bell said: “The Prime Minister made a clear commitment on the steps of Downing Street to improve access to mental health support and put right the social injustices that too many face in Britain today. We hope that today’s speech will bring about concerted action across government to make those changes and create a fairer society.

“We know that one child in every ten has a mental health problem at any one time, and many more are at risk of poor mental health without early help. Families and schools need support to build children’s mental health literacy and get expert help quickly when they need it. Too often it’s not there. It is vital that all schools, primary and secondary, are enabled to take a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health, from teaching in the classroom and tackling bullying to getting help to children who need it quickly. We welcome the recognition of childhood behavioural issues and the need for action to address this.

“We welcome the establishment of a review of workplace mental health support, where evidence is currently limited yet where effective help could make a big difference in people's lives.

“We welcome the Government’s updated suicide prevention strategy. Effective action to prevent loss of life through suicide is essential and should reach every community and every prison. Many local areas have taken the initiative by implementing ‘zero suicide’ strategies and we need to learn from them and others to identify what works and spread good practice nationwide.

“The Prime Minister’s commitment to tackle the injustices faced by people with mental health problems needs to bring about significant system change, throughout the NHS and in every part of government. Too many people face disadvantages in seeking employment, in securing accommodation and in getting good health care. Action to address mental health inequalities, especially for those who are most often excluded and marginalised, needs to cut across government departments and change the way public services relate to people with mental health problems.

Action to address mental health inequalities, especially for those who are most often excluded and marginalised, needs to cut across government departments and change the way public services relate to people with mental health problems.

“The Prime Minister has set out a clear commitment to lead a national effort to improve the lives of people with mental health problems. We hope that this will lead to concerted and sustained action to tackle longstanding injustices, building on good quality evidence to offer people better mental health support and fairer treatment from all public services.”