I am not an expert in party politics but I have read the various manifestos and it is clear the current government does not have as pro-active an attitude to mental health as some of the other parties.
For several years I have been battling the government’s resistance to recognizing the private work done by therapists and counsellors. Their resistance may be due in part to the difficulty in ensuring that everyone is correctly qualified and accredited but it also denies the public the opportunity to receive anything much other than Cognitive Behaviour Therapy on the NHS. Having said that, I was co-opted for a short time to a group that won a bid to work for the NHS but the sessions were limited to 8 and several people I worked with needed far more.
The statistics show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some time in our lives, but three out of four of those needing help will not receive it from the NHS. I can vouch for this; an ex-patient who suffered a psychotic breakdown has not received any therapy to this day. The statistics also show that given the choice three out of four of us would prefer a talking therapy to taking medication and this is borne out by my experience as well.
The Liberal Democrats have put out a Manifesto of the Mind but they are the only party that seems to be taking all aspects of mental health seriously. Labour, to their credit, seem to be very aware of the mental health issues in schools and show an understanding that if children do not receive help when they need it the problem will escalate.
It is unusual for me to use my blog in this way but I feel strongly that mental health is so low on the list of current Conservative literature that I need to say something publicly.