Do you Mind?
Posted Thursday 4 March 2010
Right, well this is my first venture into the blogosphere so be gentle with me, fellow bloggers.
Get involved: Do you know what to say if a candidate knocks on your door?After what seems like a lifetime of talk about elections, we are now only 10 weeks away from the general election, expected on Thursday 6 May 2010. To mark the final countdown Mind has launched our Do you Mind? general election campaign.
If opinion polls are to be believed, this election will be the tightest in recent memory. Last week polls put the Conservatives at a nine point advantage over Labour, but a recent poll over the weekend closed that gap to a mere two-point lead.
Over the past year, I’ve been in meetings with representatives from the three main political parties who have all agreed with Mind that mental health is on a tipping point which could see a permanent and lasting break through into mainstream public policy and politics. We’ve also had lots of nods of agreement about the need to make sure the lessons of the past recession are not repeated and we don’t see another generation consigned to the wasteland of long-term unemployment.
While these developments and nods of support are to be welcomed, now is the time for us to see the meat on the bone and for politicians and the plethora of candidates pounding the doorsteps up and down the country to essentially put their money where their mouths are.
With so many MPs standing down and marginal seats likely to change hands, this expected intake of new MPs will be huge. Rather like us campaigners, most people enter politics to change the world for the better – we simply choose different routes. We don't always agree, and it can take years and millions of people like you speaking up and making yourself heard. But when we do come to see eye to eye, those agreements can bring about real and lasting change to society and for individuals.
So when those candidates come knocking at your door, take the time to really press them about their own attitudes and views on mental health and what they will do to make a positive difference. Let’s make sure we elect a group of MPs who will lead the way in challenging stigmatising and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours to mental health, not add to them. It’s not much to ask for is it?
Novice blogger Vicki Nash is Mind's Head of Policy and Campaigns
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