Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans for mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities.
Describing mental illness as a “hidden injustice,” she wants to an equal way of thinking for both mental and physical health.
“I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems,” explained Theresa May, “this is a historic opportunity to right a wrong, and give people deserving of compassion and support the attention and treatment they deserve.”
One in four are expected to suffer from serious mental health issues per year, which the government is hoping to raise awareness of and tackle head-on.
“It destroys lives, it separates people from each other and deepens the divisions within our society. Changing this goes right to the heart of our humanity; to the heart of the kind of country we are”
Wanting to make mental health an everyday concern, secondary schools will be offered mental health first aid training, while a review by leading experts will determine the best course for workplace action, which couldn’t come soon enough for many in the mental health sector.
“No employer is immune to the problem,” said Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, who believes the workplace is a vital starting point for the conversation of mental health, “Building an open and honest workplace culture where information about mental ill health is freely communicated and discussed is a great way to begin”
A further £15 million investment is expected to expand upon current treatment, as well as digital alternatives. Digitally assisted therapy has already been proven in other countries, and is being actively pursued by the government.
The importance of alternative treatment methods comes from acknowledgement that going to a GP or A&E isn’t always the right move.
“Help is at hand, however, and employers can take positive, constructive steps to challenge the stigma of mental ill health at work and support employees’ psychological wellbeing.”