Better mental health for all: a manifesto for 2015
With less than 6 months until the next General Election in 2015, it’s essential that the voices of people with mental health problems are heard by all political parties. At Mind, we’re campaigning to make sure that mental health is given priority by the new government – whichever party is in power.
January 2015 - May 2015
Our nation is facing a mental health crisis. Over the last few years, demand for mental health services has shot up, as have prescriptions for antidepressants, the number of people being sectioned, and, tragically, the number of people taking their own lives. This situation has been made worse by deeper and faster cuts to mental health support services, longer waiting times and lack of choice for treatment.
Mental health services are a lifeline for thousands of people across the country. We simply cannot afford for them to be neglected by politicians and policymakers. We’ll campaign vigorously so that mental health is firmly on the agenda in the debates leading up to the election. We’ll also press for commitments from the main parties to ensure mental health gets a fair share of funding so that people have access to talking therapies and excellent crisis support, in good time, wherever they live.
Securing firm commitments on mental health from political parties in the lead up to the election.
Activities» Establish a group of champions who will be the faces of Mind’s election campaign, drawing on their own experience of a mental health problem.
» Put the case for mental health directly to senior politicians and policymakers as the leading mental health charity
Success will be gaining firm commitments from the next government on one or more of the key points in Mind’s manifesto for better mental health.
Building public awareness and engagement on key mental health issues
Activities» Press mental health issues at national hustings with key party spokespeople on health and welfare
» Expose the risks of underinvestment in mental health to the public and politicians in the media and elsewhere
Success will be increased media coverage of mental health policy issues and increased numbers of people engaging with Mind’s campaign.
Empowering Mind supporters to speak out and have a voice
Activities» Support and energise our network of campaigners, providing them with the resources to challenge local candidates on their commitment to mental health
Success will be increased numbers of people campaigning on Mind's behalf and putting their concerns on mental health directly to local candidates.
Our ambition is that the next government prioritises good mental health for all and commits to:
- Ensure that mental health services receive their fair share of funding
- Reduce mental health discrimination
- Invest in psychological therapies and reduce waiting times for treatment
- Ensure safe and speedy access to quality mental health crisis care for all
- Improve support for people who are out of work because of their mental health
- Develop a national strategy for mental wellbeing
As a country, we can’t afford to go backwards on mental health, and the next government needs to prioritise mental health from the start. We will minimise the risk of failing to engage politicians by maintaining excellent links through our policy work across a wide range of issues and across the political spectrum. If we don't win campaigns immediately then we continue to educate and lobby organisations and parliament for long term change whilst continuing to engage the public on the key issues.
We are always in touch with our donors and report via regular email updates with campaign successes. We’ll also update our website with the latest news and include news articles in our supporter magazine and regular newsletters.
Budget - Project Cost: £20,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £5,000 Local campaigns Printed materials and communications for local campaigns £5,000 Mental Health Champions Support for the 10 volunteers acting as Mind’s Mental Health Champions during the campaign £10,000 Election Communications Mental health briefings for candidates, printed manifestos, campaign videos and photography
Mind’s work is focussed on mental health across England and Wales. Our network of 150 local Minds provides a wide range of essential mental health services, including supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. Between them local Minds supported over 300,000 people with mental health problems last year.
We want to create a society in which anyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and is treated with the respect they deserve.
Our campaign will benefit the 1 in 4 of us who experience poor mental health every year and ultimately ensure better mental health for everyone across the UK.
We are well placed to lead the campaign for better mental health ahead of the General Election. The experience of people with mental health problems is at the heart of everything we do and we have a proud history of standing up for their rights through our campaigns. The aims of our campaign are all based on the testimony of people with mental health problems including people who use local Mind services, our members, staff, and supporters.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Louise Kirsh is our Parliamentary Manager and will be leading the team for Mind’s election campaign.
Mind's Mental Health Champions
Our 10 ‘Mental Health Champions’ will play a crucial role by sharing their experiences of a mental health problem with politicians and the electorate.