Politics in the UK has just become a whole lot more interesting with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. During the leadership campaign differences between the candidates on health care did not feature as strongly as they might. Perhaps this is because more obvious variances existed in other areas, such as in economic, foreign and defence policies.
Following this link takes you to the new Labour leader’s proposed policies for mental health. These are clearly displayed on his campaign website; further evidence, perhaps, of the way mental health issues have become prominent in politics in recent years. To summarise, Corbyn’s plans include campaigning to reverse cuts to services, increase the numbers of professionals and improve services for young people. They also include introducing mental health education into the school curriculum, tackling stigma and loneliness and challenging the social causes of mental ill-health for women as well as investing in services. Corbyn also talks of addressing the over-representation of members of black and minority ethnic communities in mental health services, along with tackling homelessness, the mental health crisis in prisons, poverty, and failures in the welfare system and the workplace. He closes with this:
I am committed to a holistic approach that sees emotional well being as fundamentally connected with a society less atomised and individualistic, more socially connected, more caring, more inclusive and more equal.
A search through the new Labour leader’s website also turns up speeches he has given on mental health topics, the contents of which very much reflect the emphasis in his policy statement referenced above. An example can be read here. In the face of so many competing priorities, it will be interesting in the coming months to see how far mental health remains towards the top of the Leader of the Opposition’s agenda.Follow @benhannigan