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Mind responds to new Conservative Government's first Queen's Speech

Thursday, 19 December 2019 Mind

The Queen has set out the new Conservative Government's agenda in a speech in Parliament today.

Megan Pennell, Parliamentary and Campaigns Manager at Mind, said:

“Despite some welcome assurances in today’s Queen’s Speech, this government must now urgently act to transform the experiences of those of us with mental health problems.

“Thousands of people’s lives have been on pause as a result of underfunded services over the past decade. We were promised 19,000 new mental health workers by next year but the numbers have been going in the wrong direction. Hospitals and facilities are also in dire need of improvement, and currently put people’s safety and recovery at risk. Therefore, while it’s good to hear the Government’s commitment to implementing the Long Term Plan and acknowledgement of the importance of growing the workforce and transforming hospitals, we now need to see action.

“It’s also encouraging to hear the Government reaffirm its commitment to reform the Mental Health Act in today’s Queen’s Speech.  We hear day in, day out from people who have faced disgraceful treatment under the Act. These people, and all those in the future who will be sectioned under the Act, deserve dignity, respect and greater control of their treatment. But this reform is already long overdue and behind schedule. The Government cannot delay these reforms any longer and must now urgently publish a White Paper setting out how they will reform the Act.

“It’s not just about mental health services, the Government must also tackle the social issues often linked to our mental health – such as problems with employment, housing and access to benefits when our mental health prevents us from earning enough to support ourselves. Many government policies in the last few years have pushed people with mental health problems further into poverty, which then have a knock-on impact on our already overburdened NHS.

“There’s no time to waste. The Government must now put things right. It’s time to press play on mental health.”

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