29 September 2021
The British Psychological Society says it is ‘time for action’ to ensure parity of esteem between mental and physical health as the Labour party announces a series of mental health commitments at its party conference.
Responding to the announcements made today in Sir Keir Starmer’s speech, the BPS is encouraged by the priority placed on mental health by Labour. The country is facing an unprecedented challenge with the number of people requiring mental health support only exacerbated by the pandemic. It is now time for action to begin to address the backlog in cases.
Katherine Carpenter, President of the BPS, said:
“For years mental health services have been chronically underfunded and people have paid the price, with delays in accessing assessment and treatment. While the commitment from Labour that mental health funding will never fall is encouraging, we need to see funding increase significantly given the challenges we are facing, particularly following Covid-19, and some real delivery on these promises.
“The commitment to improving people’s access to mental health services through funding and growing the mental health workforce is positive. The promised recruitment of 8,500 new mental health professionals is a good first step and an effective workforce strategy is vital in order to recruit and train people into these roles.
“As well as a focus on assessment and treatment, it is essential that we tackle some of the root causes which can contribute to negative mental health including the rising levels of poverty and the lack of stable and well-paid work. It is important that these issues are addressed at the same time as increasing funding for mental health services so we aren’t just trying to fix problems with sticking plasters.”