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MQ's response to the Prime Minister's pledge on mental health

Today, Prime Minister Theresa May set out the government's plans to "transform" mental healthcare.

Her speech to the Charity Commission outlined her intentions to improve the way we deal with mental health problems, with a focus on children and young people. 

Her plans include an increased focus on improving mental health support in schools and at work. She also proposed creating more community-based care centres, publishing a suicide prevention strategy and expanding digital mental health services.

Commenting, Cynthia Joyce, MQ's CEO, said: 

"We welcome the Prime Minister’s leadership in pledging to tackle mental illness. And as 75% of mental health problems start before the age of 18 she is right to focus on children and young people. 

Her speech sets out plans that could help thousands of people by improving mental health support – with important action across Government departments.  But if we are to truly transform mental healthcare, we need to fill major gaps in our knowledge and evidence for treating and preventing mental illness.  And this will only be achieved if research is at the heart of the Government’s approach. 

For too long, mental health research has been underfunded and under-prioritised – particularly in relation to young people’s mental health.  As a result, the majority of treatments and services are not designed or developed for young people, too often leading to poor treatment outcomes and hindering prevention efforts.  

Similarly, far too little is known about what works best in the workplace. We welcome the appointment Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer to the lead the review of workplace initiatives.  The founding chairman of MQ, Lord Stevenson has long been a key figure in highlighting the need for more research to support effective practices in the workplace.  We are confident that employers and employees alike will benefit from this new initiatve.”

Last updated: 9 January 2017

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