Cuts in Mental Health Services Leaving People Stranded, say Greens

25 February 2013

 

Green Party conference has today condemned cuts to mental health services that are taking place around the country, warning that they are leaving people stranded.

In November, mental health charity MIND published the results of three surveys showing that mental health services in the UK are overstretched, that people are not being assessed quickly enough and many people needing treatment are not getting access to services at all.

Now services that support mental health sufferers are being cut back further by local councils and health bodies in many parts of the country.

Adrian Ramsay, Green Party Home Affairs spokesperson, proposed the emergency motion highlighting the impact of cuts to mental health services. Adrian Ramsay said: “Mental health problems are common and rising but people who need support are being left stranded by a severely overstretched system. People who have mental health problems should have easy access to professional support and treatment. Huge Government cuts to funding for local services mean that people have to fight to get access to services – the opposite of how mental health support should work. It’s crucial that the Government properly funds mental health services and treats mental health issues as seriously as other health problems.”

During Green Party conference, party Leader Natalie Bennett signed the party up to the Time To Change campaign, which is raising awareness of mental health problems in order to tackle discrimination in society.

Natalie Bennett said: “Many people experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lives, with numbers increasing due to widening inequality and economic uncertainty in recent years. Despite this, mental health is something that we are not very good at talking about as a society. The Green Party is signing the Time to Change pledge to help create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health issues, to promote wellbeing, and to eradicate discrimination and stigma. Through working with Time to Change we hope to be an example of best practice as an organisation that supports its staff and members’ mental health.”

 

The full text of the emergency motion passed by Green Party conference is below.

 

EMERGENCY MOTION ON MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

During this conference, Natalie Bennett signed the Time To Change pledge on behalf of the party. The pledge means that the Green Party is joining many other organisations in raising awareness of mental health problems and tackling discrimination.

Time to Change has highlighted that:

  • One in four adults suffers from mental health problems in any one year
  • One in six British workers is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress
  • 10% of children are suffering from a mental health problem.

In November, MIND published the results of three surveys showing that mental health services in the UK are overstretched, that people are not being assessed quickly enough and many people needing treatment are not getting access to services at all.

Conference notes with deep concern that funding for mental health services is being cut further by many local councils and health bodies around the country this month.

Conference notes that Brighton and Hove City Council has protected its funding for mental health services and supports the work of Green Councillors, Caroline Lucas MP and other Green campaigners in opposing cuts to services that support mental health sufferers.

Conference asks the Green Party Executive to promote the party’s support for the Time to Change campaign and our opposition to cuts to mental health services through a press release, e-mail bulletins and other campaigning opportunities.

 


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