Making Up Our Minds: A collection of essays on improving our approach to mental health
15th January 2013
James has compiled a collection of essays by Conservative MPs on improving the approach that society and the various parts of government take to mental health.
All of the contributors are Conservative MPs who have taken an active interest in mental health, whether due to their own personal experience or engagement with the issue in their constituency. It is important that Parliamentarians across the political spectrum engage in this vital discussion.
The debate surrounding mental health is rising up the political and health agenda. For too long mental health had been seen as a Cinderella service in the NHS – underfunded and not given the same priority as other health conditions. Yet there is evidence that this might be changing. There is recognition amongst policy-makers that more must be done to address the way we approach mental health. As we become more physically health-conscious and live longer the treatment of mental health will become one of the central challenges for the NHS.
The essays give a range of perspectives on the issue of mental health. From the role of the voluntary and community sector, the need for focussed early intervention and the impact of mental health on veterans the essays demonstrate the complex nest of policy issues we face when confronted with the growing issues of mental illness in advanced Western societies like Britain.
The way we deal with mental health in the future will say much about our values as a society. As modern life becomes more complex and challenging there is a urgent need to ensure that we deal with mental illness, not as something with which to stigmatise people, but as a real health issue which demands a compassionate, coherent and effective response.