Introducing Richard

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Transforming Mental Health Services

An £11bn investment will transform mental health services

The Liberal Democrats will invest £11 billion in transforming mental health services - the biggest investment and most carefully costed of the big three parties. 

As part of our Plan for the Future, a Liberal Democrat government will invest £11 billion into services such as:

  • child and adolescent mental health,
  • matching waiting time standards to those in physical health,
  • and expanding our mental health workforce

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrat candidate for Wantage & Didcot constituency said:

"Anyone who has experienced mental health issues, or seen friends and family struggle, surely knows that mental health is every bit as important as physical health.

It's time that policy and investment reflected that urgent need, but still waiting times are too long, services are scanty and too often the police end up involved because there aren't enough mental health professionals or safe spaces.

We will introduce a binding Student Mental Health Charter to require all universities to guarantee access to high quality mental health services for students, and compel them to publish fundamental data on their student mental health support services.

No one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home for mental health help, or be left waiting. By prioritising young people coming out of care, and supporting students from school through to colleges and universities, we will make sure that mental healthcare is available at the point of need, before difficulties escalate."

The Liberal Democrats have set out a clear and detailed plan to improve mental health services by:

  • Making prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS 
  • Increasing access to talking therapies so that hundreds of thousands more people can receive this support
  • Providing a dedicated maternal postnatal appointment for new mothers, to tackle under-diagnosis of mental health problems
  • Training all teaching staff to identify mental health issues and ensuring schools provide access for pupil support and counselling

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. 

For too long too many people have suffered as a result of the outdated Mental Health Act 1983.

A Liberal Democrat government will reform the Mental Health Act in line with all the recommendations of the Wessely review. This includes introducing the principle of ‘care not containment’, to reduce the number of people inappropriately detained under the Mental Health Act. Reforms will also tackle the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under this law.


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