Better mental health

We support a better mental health service within the UK where mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health. It means better mental health services in schools, the workplace and for people in old age.

Papers:

A runner going down a road towards a mountain range. Above this is a blue sky with the sun in the corner. The paper says "A second pandemic: Improving mental health services for every generation. Briefing paper. By Pushkin Defyer, October 11th 2021. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696".

A second pandemic: Improving mental health services for every generation. (Briefing paper):

This paper provides a new plan to protect and improve mental health within the UK. It does this by finding solutions for people at every stage of life tailored to their needs in early, middle and old age.

Articles:

Better mental health will boost the economy

This government, like many before it, and predictably many after it, have declared physical health and mental health must be seen as one. They have advocated and congratulated charity efforts to dispel misconceptions about the issues and offered menial funds that are just enough to keep the system running in its constant state of crisis […]

An equal footing for mental health

With students back at school after two months of shutdown and the roadmap dates penciled in as we exit lockdown and reopen the economy, we are faced with the next big task in the aftermath of COVID-19. We have to deal with a mammoth mental health crisis, particularly amongst young people. After nearly a year […]

Getting serious about mental health

At the age of 17 I had left home, my future was uncertain and my mental health was dire. After being enlisted as a vulnerable child by social services I moved in for the half term to my ex’s house in Warrington while independent accommodation was negotiated for me so I could continue my education […]

Events:

After we published our paper we ran an event to discuss the paper with former MP Stephen Lloyd.

Mental health open letter:

Dear Mr Prime Minister, Secretary for Health and Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Lockdown saw schools close and young people’s social lives limited. Inevitably there has been a negative impact on mental health across younger age groups. Anxiety and depression has increased significantly (1) throughout the population as 190,271 under 18-year-olds were referred to mental health services between June and April 2021, a 134% increase from the previous year (2). Alongside this we are seeing surges in crisis mental health care for young people as well (3) as demand for eating disorder clinics and suicide prevention measures is rapidly increasing.

However we believe CAMHS has passed breaking point. Recent analysis from STEM4 shows young people in urgent need of help are denied support (4) as CAMHS struggles to cope. On top of this, those who are neurodivergent and in need of support are failed as waiting times for autistic young people and those with ADHD are unacceptably long to have the appropriate appointments (5). While CAMHS fails to deal with this mental health pandemic adequately, educators feel ill equipped to help (6) as the scale of this crisis becomes less and less manageable by the day.

This is why Centre Think Tank, as well as the signatories of this letter, are urging the government to act immediately and meaningfully to solve this crisis. If they don’t, we risk seeing the grave consequences of failing the young people of today and leaving them to pick up the pieces. Every day we do not act this crisis will become harder and more costly to fix. We recommend the following policies as emergency measures to begin to address the situation. These policies act as a short term set of solutions which must be followed up with wide ranging and meaningful reform:

  1. Set up mental health support hubs in every school with the ability to carry out mental health assessments within the next five years.
  2. Allow students to access resources more easily with an online education service alongside existing in person classes.
  3. Extra funding for CAMHS and neurodivergent assessments to reduce waiting lists.
  4. Increased funding for suicide and eating disorder hotlines.
  5. Set up a review to streamline how CAMHS data is passed between different NHS IT systems.
  6. Increased funding and research for extra alternatives to CBT therapy.

Signed by:

Centre Think Tank

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