The Prime Minister has spoken about new plans to support mental health care in the UK.

This includes:

  • new support for teachers and schools with every secondary school in the country to be offered mental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff
  • a new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace
  • plans to invest £67.7m to rapidly expand treatment by investing in digital mental health services – meaning a patient can check for symptoms before getting an appointment.

Details of the new approach were revealed at the Charity Commission lecture at which some startling government statistics were also delivered, such as, at any time, one in four people has a mental disorder, with an annual cost of £105bn, with young people being disproportionately affected.

From a debt perspective, one of the most relevant announcements from the Prime Minister’s speech was a review into the Debt Health Form. This is where patients are charged anything up to £300 by a GP to provide supporting documentation to show that someone suffers from a mental illness.

The new plans mention the following:

“Despite known links between debt and mental health, currently hundreds of mental health patients are charged up to £300 by their GP for a form to prove they have mental health issues. To end this unfair practice the Department for Health will undertake a formal review of the mental health debt form, working with Money and Mental Health.”

At Harrington Brooks, customers who are identified as being the most vulnerable are handled by a Specialist Support Team. You can see more about what they do in this short video.

Some of the other key focus areas were also identified as:

  • Transformation of attitudes to mental health
  • Young women being at high risk
  • Youth anxiety with politics and employment opportunities voiced as key concerns.

For further research and reading, you may find the following useful: