Friday, 19 May 2017

Mental illness is the elephant in the room we all have to talk about if we are to be a healthy society.

Green Party candidate for the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency Adam Colclough today announced his support for the five -point plan for improving the nation’s mental health put forward by the Mental Health Foundation.

A survey commissioned by the charity found that only 13% of Britons feel themselves to have good mental health, a situation chief executive Jenny Edwards CBE described as ‘really concerning’.

During Mental Health week earlier this month the Mental Health Foundation put forward a plan encouraging individuals and government to value mental and physical health equally.

The plan contains five elements:
• The setting up a National Thriving Mental Health Programme to spread public understanding about how to develop good mental health
• A Royal Commission to develop good practice and identify problem areas
• An annual report to track progress and identify areas requiring attention
• Support for people to improve their mental health
• Fair funding for mental health research.

Mr. Colclough said: ‘Mental illness and the impact it has on the lives of people living with it and their families is the elephant in the room we all have to talk about if we are to be a healthy society.’

He added that as a volunteer for two local mental health charities that he had ‘seen at first hand the challenges people face accessing adequate services’.

Improving mental health services features prominently in the Green Party manifesto for the 2017 general election. In a message to members deputy party leader Amelia Womack said:
We live in a society, which feels custom built to wreck people’s mental health, and it’s a crisis caused by the savage policies of the Tory party – debt piled onto the young, people living only one pay cheque from homelessness, and hundreds of thousands of us forced into the indignity of using food banks.

Adding that the party would, ‘tackle the root causes of mental health by shaping a different society. We’ll create a caring and confident country which improves mental health, rather than harms it.’

Included in the manifesto are policies to introduce empathy lessons in schools, improve access to psychological therapies and to give mental health parity of esteem with physical health.

Adam Colclough said: ‘ As a long-time activist for better mental health services I am proud that the party I represent has taken the lead in this important issue, doing so is entirely in keeping with our mission to work for the common good.’

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