Parliament Street: A review of our year on mental health and what’s to come

This year Parliament Street has put a major focus on mental health, everything associated with mental illness and the vast inequalities many people suffering from mental ill health face.

We have done a vast array of research projects on mental health looking at everything from the amount of police time is spent dealing with mental health issues. We found that in 2016 alone, the police in the United Kingdom dealt with an astounding 300,000 incidents relating to mentally ill health. Our research on how much police time was spent on mental health related issues last year was covered in by the Milton Keynes Citizen, Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser,CBJSpotlight, Derbyshire Times, Andover Advertiser, Belfast Telegraph, BBC Radio Essex, Southern Daily Echo, BBC Nottingham, Portsmouth News, ITV News, Belfast Live, BT News, and LBC Radio. I have had the honor over the last year to represent Parliament Street in the media on mental health and look forward to continuing to do so. The great work by Steven George-Hilley and Patrick Sullivan helped get this important information into the media.

In January we launched our podcast series focusing on mental health with our first interview with former Communications Director for Tony Blair and mental health advocate Alastair Campbell. I also had the honour of sitting down with renowned Clinical Psychologist Dr Rob Wilson PhD for a chat on the current mental health provision in the United Kingdom and his work of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

We held two major events in the House of Commons on mental health which helped us formulate our report on ‘A 21st Century Approach on Mental Health.’ We were lucky enough to have on our panel people like Liz Fraser, Norman Lamb MP, Jonny Benjamin, Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent and Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change. Parliament Street was extremely grateful to those on the panel and the over two hundred people who turned up to participate.

After the two successful events in the House of Commons we compiled a solution paper named ‘A 21st Century Approach to Mental Health’ including our recommendations from our findings.

In my opinion all the work we have done so far was topped by the bravery of my fellow colleagues to open up about their own mental health with Alice Davison and Cllr. Richard Harris both speaking bravely about their struggles.

It has been a great year so far but at Parliament Street we recognise that there is so much more work to be done, that is why we will continue our work on mental health for the foreseeable future with a conference already being planned along with some high profile podcasts with leading people in mental health being released soon.

Mental health is one of the biggest issues of our generation and we will keep pushing for a brighter future for all that suffer from mental illness.

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