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Mind responds to Labour Party conference announcements

Wednesday, 11 October 2023 Mind

Yesterday, the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, announced at the Labour Party conference what their campaigning commitments are ahead of a UK General Election, expected in 2024.

These included changes to planning laws to allow for more house building, and ways the party would tackle the climate crisis if it gets into power. In other speeches from UK shadow ministers pledges were also made to:

  • Tackle youth violence through specialist hubs

  • Change early years education to improve numeracy and literacy

On mental health, key re-commitments included:

  • The roll out of a national network of early support hubs for young people

  • Mental health support in every school

  • Increased recruitment of NHS mental health staff

Responding to the announcements made at the Labour Party conference, Mind’s Chief Executive, Dr Sarah Hughes, said:

“We welcome the Labour Party’s commitment to preventing people from becoming unwell and making sure we can all get support with our health as soon as we need it. While it’s necessary to tackle the backlog in elective care, there are currently 1.9 million people waiting for mental health treatment, with millions more struggling but not meeting the right clinical thresholds for treatment. Boosting the mental health workforce is much needed, but this takes time, so we must hear a plan from the Labour Party for what it will do in the short term to make sure people urgently receive the mental health treatment they need.

“It was also encouraging to hear the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting, reiterating commitments to young people’s mental health as we know the majority of mental health problems begin before people reach the age of 25. We have long campaigned alongside others in the mental health and children’s sector for a national network of early support hubs, so young people can get help for their mental health as soon as they start to struggle, so it is encouraging to hear the Labour Party promise to place a hub in every community. We look forward to hearing how these will work alongside other plans like youth futures hubs.

“Mental health support in every school could also make a huge difference to the record numbers of young people struggling with their mental health following the coronavirus pandemic and because of the cost-of-living crisis. We expect to see a Mental Health Support Team placed in every school as soon as possible. Schools are in urgent need of help when it comes to tackling the rising tide of mental health problems so any other initiatives to support young people must be rolled out in consultation with teachers and young people themselves.”

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