#GE17 – What are the parties saying about Mental Health?

June 8, 2017 at 6:37 am

It’s election day, it is finally here!

We aren’t going to tell you who to vote for or label you as “wrong” for disagreeing with us but we want to make sure you have the facts about what the main parties are pledging for Mental Health services if elected.

Please note, this information has been put together from articles written by the parties for Mind, SNP and UKIP articles were not published at time of writing


The Conservative Party

  • To ensure more people are able to access Mental Health Services, if re-elected, the Conservatives will invest £1.4billion in to the sector by 2020 and recruit thousands more MH professionals.
  • Provide Mental Health training to all new health professionals.
  • Ensure every primary and secondary school has staff trained in supporting young people with mental health and, for those who need further support, reform CAMHS.
  • “Rip up the 1983 Mental Health Act” and bring in the new Mental Health Treatment Bill which has parity of esteem at the heart of it.
  • Improve workplace life for those with mental health conditions.

More information.

The Labour Party

  • Party-wide commitment to improving Mental Health services.
  • £37 billion investment in to the NHS over the next government, this will not only help fund improved Mental Health services but also ensure the”NHS no longer needs to raid mental health budgets to fill black holes elsewhere”.
  • Mental Health budgets (including CAMHS) will be ring-fenced.
  • Focus more resources on early intervention.
  • Ensure all secondary schools have funds available to provide counselling and support to pupils who require additional support for their mental health.
  • £8 billion over the next 5 years will be invested in to social care to help those receiving help at home.
  • End the NHS pay freeze and reintroduce training bursaries for nurses.

More information.

The Green Party

“The Green Party has a three-pronged approach to tackling the mental health crisis in the UK. We must prevent poor mental health from a young age, help those who are already suffering, and invest properly in both prevention and treatment by ensuring parity of esteem with physical health.”

  • Make changes elsewhere in the system to reduce the impact on the populations Mental Health. suggestions being scrapping zero hours contracts and introducing awareness and empathy training in schools to help change the way young people think about themselves and their peers amongst other things.
  • Invest in the NHS to improve Mental Health Services.

More information.

The Liberal Democrats

  • Invest £6 billion in to the NHS each year with £1 billion ring-fenced for Mental Health Services.
  • Implement access and waiting time standards for mental health care in line with other services such as A&E and cancer treatment access.
  • Make Mental Health education a compulsory aspect of the curriculum.
  • Provide more funding for schools to provide onsite professional support.
  • Provide incentives for employers to prioritise employee well-being.

More information.

Plaid Cymru

  • Major investment in Mental Health Services.
  • Continuing to talk about Mental Health to raise awareness and reduce discrimination.
  • Increase the number of Mental Health beds available. Plaid recognise that the use of police cells for those in Mental Health crisis is not acceptable.
  • Fund further research in to treatments so the country can move away from the current “one size fits all” approach.

More information.

June 8, 2017 at 6:37 am | Blog

Travelling with Mental Health Problems

June 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

We recently stumbled across a blog entitled “Mental Health and Me: What it’s like to travel with a mental illness” and thought it was worth a share.

Travelling often comes up as a barrier to involvement in opportunities amongst our members so, when Airport Parking Shop presented the following figures you can see why the team weren’t surprised.

When asked “Has your mental health ever stopped you travelling?”

74% of respondents said yes.

Responses to the question "If your illness has ever affected your decision to travel, why was that? - Mental Health and Me

And to “Do you think there is enough support in the tourism industry for those travelling with a mental illness?”

You won’t be surprised No was the most given answer.

How easy is it to obtain support when you don't look like you need it?

What have your experiences of travelling with mental health issues been?

If you’d like to write your own post about your experiences, e-mail Amelia: bimhn.engagement@gmail.com

Don’t forget to check out the full blog here for more information, as well as some really helpful tips!


June 4, 2017 at 9:28 am | Blog

Mole Hills into Mountains

May 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

This blog was originally written by a BIMHN member and shared on their blog.

I remember the first time I climbed the highest mountain in South Wales, I got to the top, refused to move and had a bit of a cry as I didn’t want to carry on to the next hill as it looked ‘too scary’ fast forward 6 years and I was winter climbing the north face of that same mountain!IMG_2368

I started going outdoors from a young age, enjoying hill walking with my parents and walking with the Guides. As I got older I became obsessed by music and going outdoors took a bit of a back seat. When my daughter was born I was isolated and alone. I was a young parent with poor social skills, I found being with other parents unbearable and was probably what I now recognise as quite depressed at times. As she got a little older and started to spend her weekends with her Dad I found myself with time on my hands, I began to organise walks for a small group of friends, somehow walking was socially easier, conversation about what was around us came more naturally, there was no great focus on me- I didn’t need to look people in the eye and there was no pressure to talk. We followed a walking guide book initially and I got everyone quite lost at times! I soon started to purchase maps and plan my own walks, although I am still not great at navigation I am a lot better than I used to be.

I am an anxious hill walker. I worry about getting lost, about my daughter falling, about being far from help, I’ve always been terrified of exposure. There have been some walks in the mountains where the levels of anxiety has been too much and I’ve had to turn around, but where I have been able to battle through I’ve felt so much better for it. The hills are my quiet space, my safe place, a place to discover and learn. We’ve seen some incredible things in the hills from historic ruins, to rare wildlife and things created by weather such as ice formations.


I’ve lost count of how many bogs I’ve fallen into, how many times we’ve been beaten back by the weather, times where we have under estimated our route and marched for hours in the dark (with our head torches), time spent wandering round in Scottish forestry wondering why it doesn’t match what’s on the map. We’ve had a few scary experiences, once where I had to abort a walk due to the beginnings of hypothermia – we dropped down off the mountain into the wrong valley on purpose to get out of strong winds and had a really long walk back to the car, once I’d warmed up enough in a ruined building to continue. Other occasions the weather has turned on us, which can feel pretty frightening in the winter. The bad times build memories though, they strengthen me mentally, they keep me fighting another day. We’ve helped others when we’ve been hiking, on two occasions returning lost children to their parents, giving lost people directions, returning lost items to their owners and even rescuing a chicken and a dog – my daughter loves to recount the stories of those particular adventures!

I enjoy the spontaneity of being able to read a map and to walk off path to go and explore something which looks interesting- I’ve had many outdoor swims in the mountains and have also camped there too. One of my favorite ‘dips’ was on Snowdon- we walked up it on a really hot day, starting quite late in the day to go up the Watkin Path, we came down the South Ridge and went back over another smaller mountain (Yr Aran) to pick up the Watkin Path again to take us back down. The Watkin path has a river running beside it and although we’d forgotten our swimming stuff the temptation on a boiling hot evening was too great. On the busiest mountain in Wales we stripped off and jumped into the icy pools, that memory of pure exhilaration will always stay with me. That’s what mountains are about, surprises, adventure and building memories for those bad times when the dark thoughts get the better of you.

I’ll end this blog with a photo from my my best days walking – the snow was crisp, it was bitterly cold (-10, back when we had actual winters) The sky was blue all day long and we felt so lucky to be out in the hills.


May 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Blog