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Cross-party MPs swear to take on mental illness

Over 50 MPs have joined us in swearing to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in young people’s mental health.

At an event hosted by Luciana Berger, Norman Lamb and Johnny Mercer, MPs from across the political spectrum showed their support for our We Swear campaign. And across social media and in the press, they have been calling for much-needed advances through research.

It’s clear that radical change is needed. Awareness of mental health is rising, stigma is starting to be tackled, yet still three quarters of young people affected by mental illness are going without the right help, every day. 

But across healthcare, history has shown us that when the public, scientists, and politicians come together to demand better through research - lives can be transformed.

So we’re delighted to see growing political support for mental health research.  

We asked the MPs to tell us why they were supporting We Swear, here are some of their reasons:

Luciana Berger MP

“I am delighted to support MQ’s trailblazing We Swear campaign. Research holds the key to revolutionising the way we both prevent and treat mental health problems. For too long it has been neglected. In most cases mental health difficulty first emerges during childhood and adolescence. We need to focus on the impact that can be made during this critical early period. I encourage everyone to get behind the campaign to make a real difference to the lives of our future generations.”

Luciana Berger We Swear photo

Johnny Mercer MP

“I am pleased to be working with Luciana Berger, Norman Lamb and MPs from across the political parties to support MQ’s We Swear campaign and take on the crisis in young people’s mental health. At the moment, three children in every class room experiences a mental health condition – but most aren’t getting the support they need. This is not an inevitable fact. And through research we can change it, giving hope for a brighter future for every young person with a mental illness.”

Johnny Mercer

Norman Lamb MP

“I’m swearing to take on mental illness because it is intolerable that most children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition still do not get the support they need. When we know that three-quarters of mental ill health starts before the age of 18, there is an overwhelming economic, as well as moral, imperative to tackle this treatment gap.  Some people wait up to 10 years for a diagnosis, let alone treatment.  It is a scandal we should all be determined to end. Only by investing more money in mental health research can we hope to tackle the causes of mental illness, speed up diagnosis, and find more effective ways to treat mental ill health when it arises.”

Norman Lamb

Dr Matthew Offord MP

“The mental health of young people has been widely overlooked for too long. That is why MQ’s investment in life-changing research is so important today - bringing people together to find the solutions that will help people who are suffering in silence.”

Matthew Offord

Heidi Alexander MP

“If we want to tackle the growing problem of poor mental health, it is crucial that we better understand what causes different mental illnesses and what works in treating them. As the only major mental health charity specifically focused on research, MQ is undoubtedly a critical part of developing answers to the range of illnesses, which currently have far too many devastating and debilitating consequences.”

Heidi Alexander

Chris Law MP 

“Mental health issues affect so many people and I am so pleased I can support MQ’s life-changing research.”

Chris Law

Kate Green MP

“Mental illness shouldn’t be seen as an inevitable part of life. The current state of mental health treatment would simply never be accepted for a physical condition. That's why I've pledged to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in tackling young people’s mental health."

Kate Green

Nigel Adams MP

“It’s been proven time and again that hope and resilience are so important for patients in treatment for any physical illness.  I want those facing mental illness to know that we are behind them and that we believe in them, and to be able to have that same hope and support.”

Nigel Adams

Jim McMahon MP

“Promoting the work of MQ is key to shining a light on the important issue of mental health. 1 in 4 people in the UK are suffering from a mental health condition right now. Despite this, research into causes, treatment and prevention lags behind that of physical health. So it’s time that more energy was paid to understanding mental health."

Jim McMahon

Patrick Grady MP

“As MP for Glasgow North, I represent thousands of people from very diverse backgrounds. I know only too well that mental illness can affect anyone at any time. That’s why I’m delighted to support MQ’s ‘We Swear Campaign’ and help spread the word that mental illness is not an inevitable part of life and we don’t have to just accept it. I’d encourage everyone to join the campaign so we can take on mental illness together.”

Patrick Grady

Last updated: 13 April 2017

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