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Charities can help tackle Britain’s growing mental health crisis

Monday 8 May 2017

Commenting on proposals put forward over the weekend by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to prioritise mental health, John Low, Chief Executive at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) said:

“It’s extremely positive to see that political parties are bringing plans to tackle Britain’s mental health crisis to the fore at this election. The focus on mental health is testament to the work of charities to bring this issue into the mainstream of public debate, and a reminder of the essential role that charities play in giving a voice to those who are marginalised and ensuring that their needs are reflected in the political debate.

“It also builds upon the work of prominent public figures including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as well as many leading politicians who have spoken movingly about their own experience to help end the stigma around talking about mental health.

“We know from our research that over 14 million people a year receive mental health support from charities in the UK – the value of this support cannot be overstated or taken for granted, and political parties must use what charities have learned from their on-the-ground experience to drive effective policymaking.

“We are calling on all political parties to put charities at the heart of developing the country’s mental health strategy and ensuring that people are able to access the vital support that they need.”

Notes to Editors

  1. A new survey out today by the Mental Health Foundation has found that two-thirds of British adults say they have experienced mental ill-health at some point in their lives, significantly higher than the global average.[i]
  2. The Conservative Party has announced plans to replace the Mental Health Act with new proposals, and raise standards of care.[ii]
  3. The Liberal Democrats have said that some of the funding raised under their proposed increase in income tax would be used to fund mental health support.[iii]
  4. Research carried out by CAF in 2016 found that 29% of people have attended counselling, a support group or received mental health support from a charity in the past year, up from 26% in 2014.[iv]
  5. Usage of charity services for mental health support is particularly high amongst 18-24s, and those living in the most deprived areas.
  6. 5% of charitable donations in the UK go to organisations working in physical and mental health care, and young people are the most likely to give to physical and mental health care charities.[v]

i. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/08/two-thirds-of-britons-have-had-mental-health-problems-survey

ii. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/07/theresa-may-pledges-mental-health-revolution-will-reduce-detentions

iii. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39822306

iv. https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/160704_caf_charity_street_report_web.pdf

v. https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2017-publications/uk-giving-report-2017

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