The Prime Minister Theresa May spoke today (9th January 2017) at the charity commission about the importance of addressing the nation’s mental health. Here is a brief response from PAA:
Psychologists Against Austerity welcome the news that mental health is being discussed by the Prime Minister as a priority policy issue, it is much needed. We celebrate the PM’s recognition of the urgent need to address the wealth gap and growing inequality in the UK. However, the Prime Minister fails to connect these two issues.
Mental ill-health has rapidly increased since the financial recession, made worse by the austerity policies the government implemented, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.
Addressing mental health is not just about ensuring more ‘treatment’ is available and stigma is reduced, although they are important. It is fundamentally also about the evidence that ideological economic policies, like the continued austerity programme, have hit the most vulnerable the hardest and have been toxic for mental health.
Evidence shows that social and economic policies that move us towards genuine social justice and equality would hugely benefit the nation’s mental health.