On 17 June, the Prime Minister revealed a new prevention plan which states that all new teachers will be taught how to identify the signs of mental health issues.
Better access to training, support and education will be made available across communities to revolutionise society’s approach to mental illness. These skills will ensure that people will have the confidence and know-how to identify mental health issues in young people.
Extra support will be given to social workers, schools, local authorities and healthcare services. They will be trained to promote good mental health the same way physical health is being encouraged.
Prime Minister Theresa 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.
“The measures we’ve launched today will make sure at every stage of life, for people of all backgrounds, preventing mental illness gets the urgent attention it deserves.”
A new campaign called “Every Mind Matters” will be launched in October. This will increase public awareness and educate people on how to look after their mental health. From next year, parents will also receive education through the campaign and will learn how to deal with issues like online bullying, self-harm and stress.
Financial difficulties are a major contributing factor to mental illness, so the government will launch a scheme to assist people with problem debt. The scheme will provide assistance by postponing debt collection while people look for support and this will prevent mental health problems.
The Prime Minister announced that as part of this prevention agenda, £1 million will be given to the Office of Students who can compete to find new ways to support mental health at colleges and universities. New evidence will also be found for the best ways to support children who have been abused and neglected.
Action against the unequal and undignified treatment of those in mental crisis will be included in the overhaul of the Mental Health Act. banning of keeping people suffering from mental illness in holding cells as a place to detain them will be included in the legislation.
The Prime Minister stated that a White paper will be published before the end of 2019, following Sir Simon Wessley’s review of the Mental Health Act. The steps that will be taken to eradicate the unfair treatment faced by ethnic minority groups will be set out in the document.
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Chair, Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, said:
“Theresa May deserves credit for drawing attention to those with the most severe mental illnesses yet who are the most overlooked.
“The recommendations of the review of mental health legislation that she commissioned have been warmly welcomed from all sides but now need to be acted on.
“Today’s announcements are a further welcome step towards that goal”.