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Mayoral and London Assembly elections manifesto 2024

Londoners vote on Thursday 2 May for a new Mayor of London and London Assembly.

We’re asking the next Mayor of London to work with us and strive to improve the mental wellbeing of all Londoners by addressing the 5 key priorities set out in our manifesto.

We want to ensure that no London mind is left behind.

You can join local Mind Chief Executives from across London and add your name to our open letter to all candidates.

5 priorities for the Mayor of London

1. Tackle the challenges arising from the ongoing cost of living crisis

2. Address health inequalities by making services more inclusive and accessible

3. Support children and young people by adopting the Whole School Approach

4. Recognise the importance of communities and community services

5. Tackle housing instability and improve access to good quality and stable housing

1. Cost of living and poverty

Support Londoners who are adversely affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis and those who are experiencing poverty.

Why is it important?

Cost of living

We’re facing the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation, and it’s affecting mental health.

We know that employment instability, declines in income and unmanageable debts have a significant impact on our mental health. They’re closely linked to increased rates of common mental health problems, substance misuse and suicide.

Different factors are making us all more vulnerable to financial stress and the risk of homelessness. There’s the Covid-19 pandemic, financial stress and debt, inflation and the housing crisis. Londoners are bearing the brunt of this – a London Assembly report found that inflation here is estimated to be 1.5% higher than the rest of the country. It is well evidenced that poorer households experience a higher inflation rate as they spend a much larger share of their household income on gas and electricity.


A recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on poverty painted a stark picture of life in England today. It showed that London has the highest rates of poverty in the country (joint with the North East).

Mind’s own research shows us that there’s still a lot of shame around money and mental health. We’ve found that choice and control in support services are important, that services aren’t practical or respectful and that people facing poverty often go outside of regulated systems for help.

Read more about money and mental health

The lifelong impact on children living in poverty can’t be underestimated either. Young people in the lowest income bracket are 4.5 times more likely to experience severe mental health problems than those in the highest.

What do we want the mayor to do?

  • Improve access to benefits for all Londoners
    • Build capacity
    • Collaborate with mental health organisations to plan and deliver the services that can support people with mental health problems to access and navigate the benefits system
  • Work with local authorities to increase awareness and information sharing around cost-saving initiatives, for example free boiler replacement schemes for renters
  • Encourage all employers across London to adopt the London Living Wage to cover workers’ basic living costs with no age discrimination

"Nobody knows what’s around the corner – Poverty can happen to anyone, by no fault of their own! We need to stop the cycle of poverty at all costs to ensure a healthy society moving forward"

A member of our Lived Experience group

2. Health inequalities

Tackle the health inequalities that Londoners experience due to race and ethnicity.

Why is it important?

London is the most ethnically diverse region in the UK. 287 ethnic groups and nationalities were identified in the last census across the 32 boroughs. However, we know that there’s increasing inequality amongst the population of London, with racialised and marginalised groups experiencing worse care and support than other groups. This is what the evidence tells us:

There’s also significant economic and social inequality among racially minoritised communities. And poverty rates have increased. This disproportionately affects marginalised groups, with 4 in 10 Pakistani or Black households living in poverty.

"Due to my name and my ethnicity, I don't feel I'm taken seriously, there's no representation in mental health for someone like me and I feel extremely alone and alien to genuine help."

Anonymous contribution to ‘Big Conversation’ Health Inequalities report

What do we want the mayor to do?

  • Encourage London-based mental health services to engage effectively and meaningfully with Black, Asian and racially minoritised communities, voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) and faith-based organisations
    • Take learning and guidance from them
    • Make services more accessible as a result
  • Ensure that the voices of those of us with diverse lived experience of mental health problems influence all decisions on health and wellbeing provision in the capital
  • Continue to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure increased diversification of London’s mental health workforce to better reflect the communities they serve
  • Ensure that local mental health services work with VCSE and faith-based organisations to promote mental health support in the community and challenge stigma
  • Ensure mental health services offered throughout London are inclusive
    • They should be offered in multiple languages, or translation and interpretation services offered to people who don’t speak English as a first language
    • Ensure that therapies offered are culturally appropriate and geographically accessible.

3. Children and young people

Protect and improve the mental health of London’s children and young people.

Why is it important?

Children and young people’s mental health is getting worse. 1 in 4 young people experienced a mental health problem in 2022. This is up from 1 in 6 the year before.

Many young people are still feeling the effect of the pandemic. School disruption, closures, and exam uncertainty are still having an impact. And that’s now combined with a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation and increasing housing instability.

We know that some of the school attendance and exclusion polices introduced since the pandemic are more likely to affect children and young people with mental health problems. Mind’s recent education inquiry found that 48% of young people were being disciplined for behaviour due to their mental health. 68% reported being absent from school due to their mental health.

In London specifically, we know that there’s been a significant increase in demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We also know that some children and young people face long wait times for those services. A small but significant number wait longer than a year for an initial contact, while waiting times for neurodevelopmental services are significantly longer than wait times for other services.

What do we want the mayor to do?

  • Encourage our London schools to adopt a Whole School Approach to mental health
    • Promote early identification and intervention of mental health needs
    • Work with schools to reduce exclusions
    • Ensure that schools are conducive environments for fostering good mental health
  • Promote and support interventions such as anti-bullying programmes and evidence-based parenting programmes to improve children’s mental health
    • Encourage services that support the mental health of parents and caregivers, particularly during the perinatal period
  • Ensure that there are equitable mental health support offers across all London schools, and that there isn’t disparity across the different integrated care system (ICS) footprints
  • Support the development of community-based early support hubs
    • Acknowledge the importance of extracurricular enrichment and cultural activities, ensuring all children have access to such spaces

4. Community services and communities

Invest in London’s communities through improved access to community services.

Why is it important?

The Community Mental Health Transformation Programme has been pioneering, innovative and ambitious. It’s testing new ways of integrated working and improving community mental health services across London. We know that transformation takes time and cross-system working and local areas need to maintain a focus. As NHS and local governments come under increasing pressure, we’re concerned that any cuts will disproportionately impact on voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSE), who often support the most marginalised communities.

So many mental health services are dangerously overstretched and overwhelmed. We need to ensure that statutory services invest in and commission appropriate services that respond to the needs of their diverse communities, particularly in the face of growing health inequalities and poverty.

With the roll out of Right Care, Right Person, we also need to ensure that all agencies are working together to ensure people in a crisis get the help they need, wherever they present.

What do we want the mayor to do?

  • Hold the five London ICSs to account on their commitments to engage with the VCSE as a true strategic partner
    • Recognise the value in providing stability to the VCSE market as so many Londoners depend on their services
  • Ensure that the voice of people with lived experience is represented and able to influence all decisions on health and wellbeing provision in the capital
  • Ensure there is commitment across London services to the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework
  • Ensure there is robust oversight and appropriate evaluation of the impact of Right Care, Right Person across London

"You can’t work on someone’s mental health if they can’t feed or house themselves"

Tom Goddard, Mind in Croydon

5. Housing

Support Londoners to have access to good quality and stable housing.

Why is it important?

Housing instability across London is rising. Rent costs and mortgage interest rates are increasing, and there’s not enough sustainable, stable social housing. These issues are affecting huge numbers of people across both private and social housing sectors at a scale not seen for decades.

A recent Mind survey found that:

In London, a recent YouGov poll found over 40% of renters reported that their mental health had been affected by poor property conditions.* With a lack of available social housing, private renters are facing brutal conditions. Advertised rents in the capital are going up by as much as 12.1% in some London boroughs.

Overcrowding, frequent moves and poor living conditions have a considerable impact on wellbeing. They affect every aspect of a person’s life, including access to services, schooling, family relationships and community support networks.

*Source: Shelter/YouGov. Note: 4,023 private renting adults in England surveyed between 14 July and 16 August 2023

What do we want the mayor to do?

  • Ensure that systems and processes around allocating social housing treat people with mental health issues fairly and equitably
    • Develop initiatives to offer specialist housing advice to people living with mental health issues
  • Hold property developers to account on providing genuinely affordable housing options
  • Hold social and private landlords to account to ensure proper maintenance of properties, ensuring people have safe and healthy living conditions
  • Lobby the government to bring in rent control across the city, ensuring people have better access to affordable housing options
  • Champion a Housing First approach in response to homelessness
    • Encourage the decriminalisation of homelessness
    • Recognise with compassion the challenges homeless people face, many of whom experience mental health problem
  • Lobby the government to ensure key housing policy is pushed through
    • This includes the much-delayed Renters Reform Bill, which would put an end to no fault evictions
    • Also the Leasehold Reforms, which would give more rights and protections to homeowners

"Everyone has the right to live in a safe and affordable accommodation. This means ensuring access to housing that meet basic standards of safety, affordability, and dignity."

A member of our Lived Experience group

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