“Appoint a Secretary of State for Mental Health, independent of and equal to the Secretary of State for Health. The Mental Health Secretary would be held accountable by parliament and have access to ring-fenced funding like any other government department. They would be responsible for improving the access to and provision of mental health treatment across the UK.
Currently, the Health Department has no dedicated minister for mental health. This makes it more difficult to tackle the growing mental health crisis and without an independent Secretary of State, there is a growing lack of accountability.
Mental health and mental distress is on the rise in the UK, particularly amongst children. Self-harm and suicide are not mental health problems in themselves, but are linked to mental distress. In the UK in 2016, <5,700 died by suicide and 1-in-15 have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. We must do more. This is one step to improving mental health conditions in the UK.”