Association of Mental Health Providers

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The Association’s Response to Liberal Democrats’ 2024 General Election Manifesto

We welcome the publication of the Liberal Democrats manifesto, For a Fair Deal, highlighting the urgent need for a national transformation to enable a fair deal for everyone.

We are pleased to see the call for investment in public health and early access to community services which we know are essential in enabling good mental and physical health long term, to help fix the social care crisis, and to help prevent mental health from deteriorating.

The pledge to reform the Mental Health Act is vital and much-needed to ensure that people who reach crisis point have fairer treatment, experiences, and outcomes as well as stopping inappropriate inpatient placements for those with autism or learning disabilities, many of whom are kept in hospital for years at a time.

We also welcome the proposal for a dedicated mental health professional in every school, the statutory duty of care for higher education institutions, and accessible support services, which will enable students to be supported throughout their education journeys. Regular mental health check-ups and walk-in hubs for young people in every community particularly at points when mental ill health is more likely, such as the perinatal period, are key to ensuring everyone can access support when they need it.

The pledge to introduce a Mental Health Commissioner to represent patients, their families, and carers would enable a more collaborative approach to care and help ensure that those who access services are listened to, placing mental health at the centre of policy and practice – a manifesto commitment, which is most welcome.

We know that unequal outcomes are often a result of societal inequalities so enabling fair access to and support for mental health is crucial, particularly for people from communities that don’t always have fair and equitable experiences in life. This can include those that are racialised, living in poverty, or people from LGBTQ+, homeless, or criminal justice communities. We are pleased to see the proposed reforms to the social security and criminal justice systems that can disadvantage communities.

All political parties must commit to addressing the root causes of mental ill health, investing in the mental health workforce and VCSE sector sustainably, and fixing inequalities in the mental health system. We urge whoever forms the next government to make mental health a priority so that we can achieve our vision of Better Mental Health for Everyone.