Theresa May pledged the government's support for charities and their committment to local communities whilst addressing the Charities Commission in London today (9th January 2017).
She also stated that the government has a clear role in supporting these organisations to help those that are ignored in our society, whether on a low income but working, or not working, and said that she would support initiatives that champion facing social challenges.
In her address, she outlined a new approach to mental health, promising to raise the profile in schools and firms in England to deal with the current injustice of poor mental health. This would include promoting training to increase mental health awareness and mental health first aid, but would also look at supporting those who are unemployed because of mental health issues back into the workplace. The scheme would also see the introduction of mental health community care clinics for those in crisis and an additional £10m funding to fund social care professional training. In schools, as well as working to ensure that all secondary schools have mental health awareness offered to staff and pupils, links to CAMHS and other NHS services would be forged. The emphasis must be on prevention and building resilience in young people in order to reap the long-term rewards.
A new initiative which will be widely promoted is digital services for mental health, including online therapy and screening programmes to improve the speed of access to services for those most in need. The plan will also encompass a suicide prevention strategy, with input from MIND's CEO Paul Farmer, following the news that 13 people will themselves in England each day, mostly young and middle-aged men.
In summary, Mrs May committed to striving for parity in physical and mental health, both in perception and treatment, adding that a stronger society works for everyone, and will enable Britain to meet the challenges of a future outside the European Union. Other than the funding for social care training, she did not, however, commit to any money to fund such a plan.
CCC is already working towards improving awareness of mental health issues and access to support, not only for businesses and schools, but for the community as a whole. Ahead of the game, in 2016, we increased our provision of mental health awareness workshops to local organisations, something which we plan to continue in 2017, helping the business and education sector to support staff and students.