Ahead of this June’s general election, the Mental Health Policy Group (of which Centre for Mental Health is a partner) have released a manifesto, highlighting the key areas we are calling for commitment and investment in.

As the work of the Centre shows, whilst mental health is receiving more attention across media and politics, many services are underfunded and over-stretched. Many people are not receiving the support they urgently need.

The Mental Health Policy Group’s manifesto calls on all political parties in England to commit to prioritising mental health within Government. The report outlines four specific calls ahead of the election:

1. Ensure fair funding for mental health services
  • Make a clear commitment to the investment plan associated with the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health covering the period to 2020/21
  • To commit, beyond 2020/21, to ensure at least £500 million a year additional investment in NHS mental health services through until 2022/23 – securing £1.78 billion more than 2015/16 in 2021/22 and £2.28 billion in 2022/23
  • Secure fair funding and a sustainable future for public health and mental health social care
  • Deliver the 10-year mental health research strategy and commit to fair and equitable funding of mental health research

2. Give children a good start in life
  • Help families through evidence-based parenting programmes
  • Support all schools to protect and promote every child and young person’s mental health
  • Improve and speed up access to children’s mental health services
  • Commit to reducing inequalities in mental health outcomes among children and young people
3. Improve health services for people with mental health problems
  • Commit to the full implementation of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health
  • Commit to collecting and publishing data on progress against the Five Year Forward View recommendations
  • Commit to planning improvements for mental health for the five years after April 2021
  • Ensure a costed multi-disciplinary workforce strategy is published, and support work to determine the shape of the mental health workforce beyond 2020/21
  • Undertake a full review of the Mental Health Act, to include identifying why the number of people being detained is increasing each year
  • Commit to a greater focus on inequalities in mental health care, particularly for some Black and Minority Ethnic Groups
  • Take action to improve mental health in prisons and complete the planned expansion of all age liaison and diversion services
  • Develop a fully costed and funded suicide prevention strategy
4. Better lives for people with mental health problems
  • Re-commit to reducing mental health stigma and discrimination by supporting Time to Change to sustain its work
  • Ensure benefits and housing policy enables everyone with a mental health problem to have a place to call home.
  • Support the ongoing Independent Mental Health and Employers Review and provide effective employment support to people with mental health problems who want help with work
  • Create a cabinet level ministerial post with responsibility for mental health across Government.

About the Mental Health Policy Group: The Mental Health Policy Group consists of six national organisations working together to improve mental health: Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Network, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This manifesto reflects areas of common concern of the six organisations.

Download the full report here.