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Mind responds to Liberal Democrats party conference announcements

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 Mind

Today Ed Davey MP, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, announced at the party’s conference their campaigning commitments ahead of a General Election in 2024.

These included broad promises about improving the NHS, including with a five year cancer plan. Although not included in his speech, the party has also promised to improve mental healthcare by:

  • Reducing out of area placements

  • Introducing walk in centres in every community for young people who need mental health support

  • Placing a mental health specialist in every school

  • Raising the age that young people transition into adult mental healthcare or out of the NHS to 24 or 25

  • Rolling out MOT mental health check ups at key risk ages

Responding to the speech, Vicki Nash, Mind’s Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “The UK is in the grip of a mental health crisis, with unprecedented numbers in desperate need of support, so it is vital that the main political parties provide answers to how they will tackle this head on as we prepare for a General Election in 2024. The Liberal Democrats are right that young people are particularly impacted, so we are pleased to see the party promise a raft of measures that would improve access to support. 

“Ed Davey was right to acknowledge that NHS services are struggling to cope with demand across the board. Young people need a place to get help as soon as they start to face mental health problems, and community based hubs across the country would offer this, which is why Mind has long been campaigning for this, alongside placing a mental health practitioner in every school.

“We are pleased to see the party acknowledge that far too many young people receiving NHS mental health treatment are made more ill, or fall between the cracks when they reach the age of 18 and have to move to adult services. Making this transition in your mid-twenties makes far more sense than expecting young people to navigate different support at the same time as transitions in education and other big life changes.

“Promises to end out of area placements for adults and young people are also welcome, as we know being sent far from home for treatment can be really harmful. Mental health MOTs could also be an innovative way of tackling points at which people are at increased risk of developing mental health problems. 

“We expect to hear further detail in the coming months about how all of these plans would be funded and work in practice, including how organisations beyond the NHS could be involved in rolling them out, to make sure every community benefits from these proposals.”


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