This week (16-22 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. I’m pleased that we’re now able to talk more openly about the issue, and in Parliamentary debates colleagues have talked about their own problems. With one in four of us likely to have a mental health problem at some stage in our lives, it’s important that we can confront the issue. But talking about an issue is just the first step. We need action, with the Government putting the resources, energy and organisation in place to deliver quality and accessible mental health services for all.
I’m concerned that services aren’t coping with the growing need for mental health support. During my annual community consultation the Big Conversation people told me about their experiences of mental health services. Too many are waiting too long for the support they need right away, which causes further suffering – and cost – down the line. In Parliament I have challenged Government cuts to mental health budgets and raised young people’s concerns over lack of services for young people with mental health problems. But I know that these and other concerns remain. In January the Government pledged a “revolution” in mental health treatment, but there are fears that this was empty rhetoric. We must keep pressure on the Government to deliver and I intend to do so. Please get in touch with me by emailing email@example.com if you have questions or concerns around mental health services that you would like me to raise with the Government.