STOP Suicide welcomes Prime Minister’s plans to ‘transform’ mental health support

STOP Suicide welcomes Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities, enhance suicide prevention measures and tackle the ‘unacceptable’ stigma & injustices affecting people with mental health problems.

The plans include:

  • New support for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training
  • A thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services across the country, to set out plans to transform services in schools, universities and for families
  • A new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace
  • £15m to provide and promote new models of community–based care such as crisis cafes and community clinics
  • £67.7m on digital mental health so that people worried about their mental health can go online, check their symptoms and access digital therapy
  • New ways to ‘right the injustices’ people with mental health problems face.

Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind in Cambridgeshire, said: “We believe the promised investment into mental health, children & young people, suicide prevention and crisis services is vital and we are eager to see what it means in real terms.

“We especially welcome the investment for people in crisis. It is hoped that this will help secure further funding for our Sanctuary service in Cambridge and Peterborough.”

Funded by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Sanctuary provides a safe place for individuals experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis. Since its initial launch in April 2016, there have been 697 referrals to the service. The Sanctuary is open seven days a week from 6pm to 1am and may be accessed by calling NHS 111, pressing option 2.

The Government has also published its response to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, a five-year plan launched last year by a taskforce led by national Mind’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer. The Government has accepted the taskforce’s recommendations.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has announced new suicide prevention measures and plans to better support people at risk of self harm.

Sarah Hughes adds: “We also welcome the announcements around a focus on prevention in schools and the updated suicide prevention strategy. With 1 in 10 children having a mental health problem and suicide being the biggest killer of men under 50, it is crucial these issues are addressed immediately.

“Effective action to prevent poor mental health and suicide is essential, as demonstrated by our local STOP Suicide and Stress LESS campaigns. Yet more needs to be done to bring about significant and sustained change, to improve the lives of people with mental health problems.”