Christmas campaign “put mental health on the political agenda” | Great Britain | Messages
Mind said our By Your Side campaign had sparked a long overdue nationwide discussion. The two-year pandemic has now turned it into a national emergency. Our investigation into overloaded services and offerings – and the support of loyal readers – led Health Minister Sajid Javid to describe the campaign as “brilliant”.
And on the basis of our work, he has promised fundamental reforms and given new hope to millions who suffer in silence.
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said, âThe campaign put mental health on the political agenda.
âTo be successful, its review must be based on the experiences of people with mental health problems – especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.
âWith 1.5 million people on a waiting list for treatment and another eight million who would benefit from treatment but cannot get on the list, this plan must also include additional funding for our overburdened mental health services.
“Rising infection rates and looming restrictions will add further challenges to our well-being and mental health. The Spirit will be there for as many people who need us as we can, but we cannot do it alone.”
Mind has asked the government to allocate Â£ 1.5 billion to treat children and adolescents – those hardest hit by the pandemic.
Mr Javid’s promise to renew three days before Christmas after we launched our campaign on November 3rd to encourage those at risk to seek help.
It has received huge support from school teachers, parents, charities, celebrities, activists, and politicians.
Mr Javid, 52, said his plan would set out the actions needed to help everyone live “healthier, happier lives”.
He said, âThe By Your Side campaign run by the Daily Express has done an excellent job of raising awareness of this issue. It is really encouraging to see more mental health conversations and this campaign is going to help so many people over the holiday season.
âIt is so important that mental health and physical health are treated with the same urgency. For anyone in trouble, my message is: It’s okay to be wrong. Please contact us, help is there for you. “
Creaky mental health services and unprecedented demand have left millions of people unable to get help. For others, successive lockdowns leave them suffering in silence, paralyzed by loneliness and depression.
Mr Javid will launch a consultation in the New Year calling on the public, charities, businesses and the mental health sector to help shape his strategy.
He added: “About one in five adults had some form of depression in the first three months of this year – more than twice as much as before Covid.”
Last year, Mind saw its highest demand since its inception in 1946 after 20 million people – about a third of the UK population – contacted each other.
And every month the charity’s infoline receives 8,000 calls, which equates to 11 an hour.
1.6 million people are now waiting for psychological treatment, and around 800,000 adults and 450,000 children and adolescents require further services.
Only a third of children who need psychological support receive it. Official data also shows that a record number of under 18s are now seeking help.
Veteran activist Dame Esther Rantzen, 81, said: âProperly supporting and equipping our mental health professionals is an urgent priority. Mental health is vital to our national health. We forget that at our own risk. “
Comment from Paul Farmer
As we look forward to seeing 2022 after another challenging year, it is a good time to look back on the past few months.
By Your Side – Minds campaign with the Daily Express – launched in early November, aiming to highlight the pandemic’s impact on the country’s mental health, the increased need for information and support, and to raise much-needed funding.
Thanks to the Daily Express and its readers, By Your Side has reached thousands and raised thousands so we can continue our important work, including taking calls on our Infoline.
This partnership has helped shed light on the issues that are most important to people with mental health problems.
Over the past few months, we have highlighted the number of children and adolescents who wait long or are turned away for psychological treatment and have a disappointing spending review with no funds earmarked for mental health services.
The campaign helped put mental health on the political agenda, with a recent commitment from Health Minister Sajid Javid for a long-awaited intergovernmental mental health strategy.
To be successful, this review must be based on the experiences of people with mental health problems, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.
With 1.5 million people currently on a waiting list for treatment and an additional eight million who would benefit from treatment cannot get on the list, this plan must also include additional funding for our overburdened mental health services.
Rising infection rates and impending restrictions will pose additional challenges to our well-being and mental health.
The Spirit will continue to be there for as many people who need us as we can, but we cannot do it alone.
Paul Farmer is the CEO of Mind