Yesterday (Thursday, 16 May 2013), mental health was the topic of a Backbench Business Debate.
Yesterday (Thursday, 16 May 2013), mental health was the topic of a Backbench Business Debate. This debate follows the landmark debate last June when four MPs spoke out about their own mental health problems for the first time.
The debate was requested by backbench MPs including Paul Burstow, Charles Walker and Madeleine Moon and granted by the Backbench Business Committee, who meet weekly to decide which subjects will be debated and how much time they can be allocated.
A wide range of subjects were covered during the debate, including addressing inequalities between mental and physical health services, and particularly improving care in acute and crisis services. MPs also discussed the need to listen to experiences of people with mental health problems, make improvements to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the need to tackle the inequalities faced by BME groups – particularly young black men – in mental health services, better support for people with mental health problems who would like to enter the workplace and working with employers to create supportive working environments.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
"We are pleased to see that mental health is still very much on MPs’ radars. Last June we saw MPs discuss their own experiences of mental health problems and earlier this year we saw the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill become law, meaning three outdated and discriminatory laws were scrapped. It is now vital that momentum is maintained.
There are still many things we want to see addressed, such as crisis care provision, parity of esteem between physical and mental health, and the impact of NHS reform and welfare reform on people with mental health problems and disabilities. Whilst these topics have all been discussed, it is crucial that this translates into action, resulting in a better deal for people affected by mental health problems.
Thank you to everyone who got in touch with their MP ahead of the debate. If you want to read what was said by MPs you can read the transcript or watch a video (starting at 11.30) of the debate on the Parliament website."