Ruth George Statement – Mental Illness

I have signed the pledge from Rethink Mental Illness to support people with mental illness which has affected close friends and members of my family, so I know something about how difficult it is to help people you love who have mental illness, how little support there is, and difficult it is to access even the support that is there.

I completely support Labour’s manifesto pledges to improve support for people with mental health conditions:

  • Give mental health the same priority as physical health and improve services.  We will ask NICE to evaluate the potential for increasing the range of evidence-based psychological therapies on offer on the NHS.
  • Ensure that access to a counselling service is available for all children in secondary schools as half of people with mental health problems as adults present with symptoms by the age of 14.
  • End the treatment of children on adult mental health wards
  • Bring forward the ending of out of area placements to 2019 to stop people being sent across the country for treatment, away from their support networks.
  • Work to reverse the damage to mental health funding since 2010 and the reduction in mental health nurses by 6,600.  We will ring-fence mental health budgets so that funding reaches the frontline.
  • Implement the court decision on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) so that there is a real parity of esteem and access to support between those with mental and physical health conditions.
  • End the pointless stress of benefits re-assessments for people with severe long-term conditions.
  • Enhance the 2010 Equality Act to enable discrimination at work to be better challenged and support people with mental illness in the workplace – as my trade union, Usdaw, has been doing –

I would welcome hearing about constituents’ experience locally and what more could be done to improve our services in High Peak.