Improving the support and care for people with mental health needs is not only a personal priority for Nicola, but also a Government priority highlighted by the Prime Minister in her recent speech which marks a step change in the way we address mental health issues.
It is estimated that one in four of us will have a mental health issue at one time or another and some 10% of children have a diagnosable disorder. Sadly, those are the children who are twice as likely to leave school with no qualifications, four times more likely to become drug dependent and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. In her role as Minister for Public Health and Innovation Nicola is clear on the need to ensure these young people have access to the help and support they need early on, when problems first arise, to ensure that they do not become entrenched.
The Prime Minister has set out how the Government has made over £11 billion of funding available for mental health services this year, and by 2020, there will be an extra £1 billion a year. There is a record £1.4 billion of investment for children and young people’s mental health over this Parliament, and in a debate in the House of Commons Nicola explained how the Government will go even further.
Mental health first aid training will be provided for teachers and staff and there will be new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff. There will also be a major thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services across the country, led by the Care Quality Commission, to identify what is working and what is not and a new Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health.
This Government has made over £11 billion of funding available for mental health services this year, and by 2020, there will be an extra £1 billion a year. Nicola is pleased that a record £1.4 billion of investment has been made available for children and young people’s mental health over this Parliament. The Government is also working to improve mental well-being in the workplace.
Oxford is leading the way in cutting-edge research, with Oxford NHS Foundation Trust benefiting from £12.8 million Government funding for a new mental health research centre dedicated to translating innovative research into better treatments.
To read a transcript of the debate, see here.
Nicola says: With these commitments and innovative research opportunities we have a key opportunity here to transform our mental health services and, ultimately, whether at a community clinic, crisis café or by using a mental health app, when people are suffering a mental health issue they must be able to get the help they need. I will be undergoing this mental health training in the coming weeks myself, and will continue to support the important work of voluntary organisations such as Mind.