Liz supports plans to radically improve mental health services

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When it comes to mental health, we need to focus on prevention, early intervention and better support. Under this Government, we’ve seen prevention and early intervention services stripped back, including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Early Intervention in Psychosis Services and the Early Intervention Grant that funds Sure Start services. I’ve long pressed local NHS bosses and ministers for action, but the truth is that we need a radical change of direction from national Government. This has to start with the support we give to children. Three quarters of adult mental illness begins in childhood, yet children’s mental health services get just six per cent of the mental health budget.

Over time, Labour’s plans would see the proportion of the mental health budget spent on children rise as we make smart investments to improve mental health in childhood and prevent problems escalating down the line.

This means training every teacher in child mental health and making sure that all children have access to the school-based counselling or therapy they need. An expansion of talking therapies for children and adults, working towards a 28-day waiting-time, will help patients and save £1.75 for every £1 invested.

The independent Mental Health Taskforce report, which Labour commissioned two years ago, can be read here.