Thank you to those who have contacted me about mental health.
I agree with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care that while it is hugely welcome that we are on the road to parity of esteem, there is still more to do. I am extremely encouraged by the news that, as part of the five-year funding offer that will see the annual NHS budget grow by over £33.9 billion, mental health services will receive an additional £2.3 billion per year, the fastest uplift in funding. This will enable further service expansion and faster access to community and crisis mental health services for both adults and particularly children and young people.
I am pleased that a new mental health crisis service with comprehensive mental health support will be available in every major A&E, alongside new children and young peoples’ crisis teams across the country. The additional funding will also deliver more mental health ambulances, “safe havens” in the community; and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline when people are in urgent need of help.
I hope these new services help end the stigma surrounding mental health, offering crucial support to people suffering from crisis and those who have suffered in silence for too long.
The final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act led by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, was published in December last year. The Government is currently considering the report and its recommendations in detail, and will set out a response in a White Paper by the end of the year. I can assure you that the intention remains to reform mental health law and I look forward to legislation bring brought to the House when Parliamentary time allows.