Wednesday 13th September 2017 – How do we solve Britain’s Mental Health Crisis?

How to solve Britain’s mental health crisis? – Review by Danny Bowman

On Wednesday 13th September, Parliament Street held a joint event with the conservative think tank the Bow Group on how to solve Britain’s ongoing mental health crisis. On the panel there was an eclectic mix of speakers including

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP,

Dr Jon Stanley who is a Bow Group Health research fellow,

Dr Martin Edobor who was the former chair of the Young Fabians,

Regis Giles who is the Director of Defend Yourself Now

and myself in my role as mental health spokesperson at Parliament Street.

The event was chaired by Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney.

The aim of the bi-partisan event aimed to bring different political party’s together to share ideas on how we can combat the current crisis and build more support for the future. Ben Harris Quinney provided a powerful opening statement conveying the importance of mental health and the work needed to be done to move forward. I pushed the fact that mental health doesn’t discriminate and that whatever your background or party affiliation you can be affected by a mental illness. Regis Giles gave an emotive and extremely powerful insight into her own experience and work as director of Defend Yourself Now. Nicky Morgan MP provided the audience with an insight into her experience as Education Secretary and the current work that the government is doing on mental health.

There were a range of questions from the audience focusing on everything from integrating mental health into the curriculum to question of prevention over intervention. There was some interesting points made by Dr Jon Stanley who talked about societies impact on individuals mental health with Dr Martin Edibor giving his informed opinion of mental health and the NHS. On the issue of mental health services I conveyed my dismay on  the governments decision to remove the nursing bursary and touched on the broken promises on recruiting more mental health professionals but agreed that in some areas that  we are seeing small improvements.Overall the event was a huge success with a very productive debate.

The whole debate flowed well and there were some extremely courageous voices in the audience and on the panel. This event showed more than anything that although in parts we disagree we can come together to improve Britain’s mental health.

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