The Conservative Party have today set out the actions they plan to take to support mental health in their election manifesto. It is positive that the full roll out of Mental Health Support Teams across all schools and colleges, and the establishment of early support hubs for young people aged 11-25 in every local area are both at the top of the action list.  These are commitments Coalition members have long been campaigning for. We also welcome action to introduce a new mental health bill in the first parliamentary session, but any new Bill must consider the specific rights and needs of children and young people.

However, the manifesto misses an opportunity to truly promote a mentally health generation. The manifesto fails to mention what will be done to address the social determinants of mental health, such as poverty.  The manifesto also makes no mention of the action that will be taken to improve specialist mental health services for children and young people.  With mental health needs rising in children and young people, we are now in a situation where demand is far outstripping service capacity to respond. As a result, too many children are left to sit on long waiting lists for support.

That’s why we are calling on political parties to increase funding for children’s mental health so that every local area creates a comprehensive pathway of mental health support for all babies, children and young people so that no one is left without the support they need.