As she prepares to leave Number 10, Theresa May unveils her mental health action plan – something she calls a ‘personal priority’. Amongst other things, the plan involves training new teachers to spot mental health warning signs. The Shadow Health Minister criticised the launch, labelling it a final bid to rectify her reputation after she departs Number 10.Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Monday that she plans to enact a Mental Health Action Plan. The new plan calls for better training for teachers to recognise symptoms and early warning signs of the crisis, including key issues like self-harm as well as a new professional standard for those working in the social care system. It also confirms that more money will be given to local authorities to tackle the problems of the mental health crisis.
Surrounding this Downing Street report, Mrs May said;
Too many of us have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of mental illness, which is why tackling this burning injustice has always been a personal priority for me.
But we should never accept a rise in mental health problems as inevitable.
It’s time to rethink how we tackle this issue, which is why I believe the next great revolution in mental health should be in prevention.
However, Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care, responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement on prevention in mental health, saying:
Once again we hear warm words from the Prime Minister on mental health, but the reality is that mental health services are stretched to breaking point and people with mental health problems aren’t getting the support they need.
Theresa May has suggested a million-pound competition to encourage ideas from students as to how we can best tackle the mental health crisis.
This comes as the annual Student Experience Survey revealed that students believe that parents should be alerted by universities if their child is experiencing ‘extreme’ mental health difficulties.
In 2016, it was reported that 1 in 4 students are experiencing mental health difficulties, evidencing that the student community are experienced enough to be able to aid Theresa May, in her so-called ‘legacy bid’, to resolve some of the mental health issues in the UK.
The Action Plan accompanies a National Awareness Camping by Public Health England: currently a pilot based in the Midlands which will be launched throughout England in October.
A press release said Theresa May announced a new breathing space scheme to help those most vulnerable. The scheme outlines ‘£1 million to the Office of Students for a competition to find innovative new ways to support mental health at universities and colleges’ and ‘greater transparency in how money is spent on mental health services, with a commitment to independent audits to ensure that the funding committed under the NHS Long-Term plan reaches the front line’.