Plans to replace the Mental Health Act 1983
When we met with Prime Minister Theresa May late last year and subsequently with the Deputy Head of Policy at No 10, we felt re-assured that the Government were committed not only to providing more funding for the implementation and delivery of mental health services, but also ensuring available funds were properly allocated and not diverted away from mental health, for too long and too often, the poor, neglected, medical relative.
Tonight, on the eve of Mental Health Week, which runs from 8th to 14th May this year, we feel positive that Theresa May’s pledge to replace the Mental Health Act 1983 as a priority immediately after the election, is said with a sincerity that we all have to believe in. She deserves the chance to deliver both what she promised in her first speech as Prime Minister and what she is saying now. Decades of apathy and funding cuts mean it should be no surprise to anyone that suicide rates across society have spiralled and that more and more of us are suffering from anxiety, depression and other psychological issues. Theresa May has a huge task on her hands.
Of course, we could all be cynical and say with a General Election looming, it is obvious Ms May would make such promises. Why should we believe her? How’s she going to fund the planned cyber bullying and mental health awareness in schools, the training and placement opportunities for the additional 10,000 mental health staff she plans to have introduced by 2020, and ensuring that our police forces and prisons have properly trained staff?
Additionally, the planned overhaul to the Equalities Act, meaning those employers who currently bury their heads in the sand when it comes to their staff’s mental health and in some cases engage positively in discriminatory behaviour, will be forced to rethink their protocols and accept they too have a responsibility towards their employees.
So why should we believe her? Norman Lamb clearly doesn’t and is stated saying on Sky News Online today “I’m sick and tired of great rhetoric from this Government about their commitment to mental health but the reality for families across our country is just so very different.”
Absolutely agree Mr Lamb. With the great ‘rhetorics’ of successive coalition, Tory and Labour Governments over the years, whose big words and tiny actions have destroyed the availability and quality of mental health provision in the UK. It would be easy to tar all Party Leaders with the same brush. But we have to have hope, we have to believe. And we do believe that Theresa May will do the right thing. The Prime Minister spoke to us passionately and genuinely about the need to make changes for the benefit of all. She does not have her head in the clouds and will face the challenges head on with a determination to succeed.
Let’s replace doubt with belief in her and hope the flames of the ‘burning injustices‘ she describes will soon be snuffed out.
You make wish to read the article on Sky News Today in relation to this story and also remind yourselves of Theresa May’s first speech on becoming Prime Minister : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDyZ8trge2E