Hugo's column in the Exmouth Journal - Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness week has been and gone.  It was a week that helped highlight the support that is available to those who need it most. Our long-Term Plan for the NHS will grow mental health services faster than the overall NHS budget, improving access to services and enabling more people to receive better support and treatment. We have already increased funding to record levels because it is so important to ensure that this is not a hidden injustice and everyone can get the care and support they need to be happy and to reach their full potential.

So what have we done? Apart from increasing total mental health spending to reach a record high of £11.86 billion we are working hard to enable faster access to community and crisis mental health services for both adults and giving more than 370,000 adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses greater choice and control over their care. There will be extra money as well to deliver the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper. We are encouraging schools to join one of the largest trials in the world to test different approaches to supporting young people’s mental health. And we will be highlighting the trends and issues in young people’s mental well-being for the first time, committing to publishing a ‘State of the Nation’ report every year on World Mental Health Day, highlighting the trends and issues in young people’s mental well-being. Appointing the UK’s first Minister for Suicide Prevention to lead government efforts to cut the number of suicides and overcome the stigma that stops people seeking help is being added to the mix. Rough sleepers will get extra help as well as ex-service personnel and a new student mental health taskforce will help university students. This is an ambitious programme and shows we are treating it as a priority.