What Can The UK Government Do To Cultivate Good Mental Health?

According to statistics revealed by mentalhealth.org.uk 65% of people in the UK have experienced a mental health problem in their lives at one time or another. What’s more revealing is that just a mere 13% of us say that we live with high levels of good mental health in our daily lives.

These stats suggest there is much to do to improve the state of our mental wellbeing, but to turn things around will require help from the powers that be, namely Government.

But is the UK Government doing enough to ensure that current and future societies have good mental health. And if you believe they could more, what action can be taken to fix this prevailing problem?

We reached out to some of the leading voices on mental health issues to get their opinion.

Judith Haire

Judith Haire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good mental health is essential for us all and one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. The Government needs to include mental health on the school curriculum and make sure mental health support is available in every workplace. Workable budgets are needed for the NHS, with budgets for talking therapies and to fund more mental health inpatient beds. GPs must be fully trained to assess and treat mental health problems and crisis teams must be funded so they can respond much more quickly to people in need.”

http://www.judithhaire.wordpress.com

@JudithHaire

 

Martha Roberts

Martha Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There are so many areas of mental health that could do with extra funding (or, at the very least, having funding cuts reversed). I would be particularly keen to see more money going into provision for children and young adults – and that means people heading towards 30 whose lives are complicated by more pressures on this age group than ever before. I would also love to see more community provision for people with mental health who are otherwise ‘high functioning’, raising families or holding down jobs but who nevertheless could do with support and possibly a place to get advice or ongoing help.”

www.mentalhealthwise.com

 

Courtenay Young

Courtenay Young

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Simple mental health techniques should be taught in primary schools – as essential tools for living. These could include: centering, grounding and re-balancing techniques; breathing techniques – especially for anxiety; basic relaxation techniques; simple mindfulness practice; listening & giving feedback; making ‘I’ statements; greater expression of feelings – particularly for boys; positive self-assertion – particularly for girls; practicing confrontation without aggression; self-soothing techniques; etc.”

http://ijp.org.uk/

 

Julie Seeney

Julie Seeney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“One of the most important things the government should do to cultivate good mental health is to teach about mental health in schools.  We currently teach children about looking after themselves physically through a good diet and exercise and I think we should do the same for mental health. This might help provide the next generation growing up some life skills to help them if they themselves experience mental health problems.”

http://mummyitsok.com/

@mummyitsok

https://www.facebook.com/mummyitsok/

 

Sophie Mei

Sophie Mei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We need better investment in prevention services so people aren’t left on long waiting lists until they reach crisis point. Also when it comes to treatment, mental health is often treated like physical health in the sense that health professionals are forced to constantly assess people by numbers and statements, when in fact it is far more complicated. People need longevity with treatment and not to feel like they are constantly being assessed as to whether or not they deserve such courses of action. I also think those caring for the mentally ill person should be supported as well especially family and friends so they understand what’s going on and how best they can help.”.

mamamei.co.uk

@MamaMeiBlog

https://www.facebook.com/MamaMeiBlog/

 

Jane McNeice, Founding Director, Mind Matters & Blogger

Jane McNeice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think that many of the problems we see around mental health derive from people’s poor knowledge of it, and I believe this is not just a societal issue, but that some clinicians may also lack mental health literacy. I would like to see a Government that supports raising mental health literacy across communities, health care services, and within schools – the launch of the MHFA Schools programme and Government support of this is a great start. I also believe that the Government need to foster effective processes for people to have a voice around mental health services, and for Government to effectively respond to their concerns with real solutions. Real comittment to securing good funding for mental health services is also essential, and having Mental Health Champions within Government who advocate for fantastic interventions such as Mental Health First Aid.”

 
https://www.facebook.com/MindMattersTraining
@mindmatters2us
https://www.linkedin.com/in/janemcneicemindmatterstraining/

 

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I believe that education has the power to change the way we, as a society, see and talk about mental health and through learning we can cultivate good mental health. We should teach children to be open about thoughts and feelings, making them aware of mindfulness techniques, ways to build emotional awareness and resilience. I believe that mental health should be a priority within education today, an official part of our national curriculum, providing change for future generations.”

https://nicolesjourneysite.wordpress.com/

@_nicolesjourney

https://www.instagram.com/nicolesjourney/

 

Linda Hobbis

Linda Hobbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Since many mental health issues can begin in childhood, I would like to see greater pastoral care in schools – perhaps training school nurses (where they exist) or administrative staff in additional skills.  Teaching staff are already over-stretched but perhaps there should be as great a focus on teaching skills such as Mindfulness and meditation as there is on sex education and relationships in the curriculum.  Where budgets are stretched, perhaps peer to peer counselling might be an option where older children help their younger friends and fellow pupils. The additional benefit of this would be a possible reduction in bullying. Whilst Childline does an amazing job, there may be merit in creating a coaching / counselling type helpline accessible to all pupils and staff.”

http://www.motherdistracted.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/motherdistracted

@lindahobbis

 

Andy Bell

Andy Bell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good mental health is formed from the first spark of life and throughout life. We need to support women and their partners during and after pregnancy; to help parents to form strong attachments with children; make schools places where good mental health is promoted for all young people; and to tackle the inequalities and injustices that are at the heart of poor mental health for too many of us.”

http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/

@CentreforMH

 

Danny Buckland

Danny Buckland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Government needs to ring-fence the money it says it is giving to mental health so it cannot be spent elsewhere as, too often, the help never quite reaches it to the front line. There are good reasons to be hopeful that the Mental Health 5 Year Forward view – an NHS England initiative steered by the main mental health charities – will improve awareness, funding and direct help. Mental health has been left behind by successive governments so there is a good distance to travel. Although we are going in the right direction, the downgrading and underfunding of children and adolescent services is a continuing scandal and the government must be held to account to ensure their latest pledges are not just a vote-harvesting exercise.

www.dannybuckland.co.uk

@DannyBuckland

 

Dr Wanda Wyporska

Wanda Wyporska

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Economic inequality is the defining issue of our times. We know from a wealth of research that societies in more unequal countries suffer from higher rates of violent crime, poorer educational outcomes, and worse physical health. Just as important though is the effect inequality has on our mental health.

In an unequal society it’s much harder to shore up your own personal sense of worth, and people are more likely to employ “dominance” strategies (competing aggressively, bullying, even violence) rather than more affiliative strategies such as co-operation, kindness and support. This has a long term effect on our mental health and exacerbates status anxiety. We can only create a more cohesive and caring society, if we tackle inequality.”

www.equalitytrust.org.uk

@equalitytrust

www.facebook.com/equalitytrust

 

Rochelle Burgess

Rochelle Burgess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Governments are a primary contributor to the creation of social and political contexts where good mental health is possible. We can think of this within a framework of ‘mental health enabling environments’ where individuals and communities have the opportunity to access critical social, material, and relational resources that make good mental health possible.

So much of this is contingent on the roles that governments play in the management of society. It is not enough to ask that governments increase the availability of mental health services – the role of the government in cultivating good mental health must include a commitment to helping people live good lives, through the erasure of social and economic inequalities.

This means governments should endeavour to ensure access to education, access to basic income, the opportunity for social development, social recognition, and resources to enable people to live lives free of oppression.”

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rochelle_Burgess

 

Chloe Weir

Chloe Weir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think in order for the government to cultivate good mental health they need to hear real stories from ‘real people’ – mental health is such a taboo subject which unfortunately means that unless you’ve experienced it or are currently experiencing it you really have no idea how vital mental health services are. Get to the heart of the issue, see it from our side.”

http://theadventuresofanallergymummy.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/theadventuresofanallergymummy

http://www.instagram.com/theadventuresofanallergymummy

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