As the country recognises mental health awareness week, over 15,000 people in our community are left sitting on the mental health support waiting list.
This is simply not good enough.
Since the Conservatives came into government in 2010, one-in-four mental health beds have been cut across the country. We feel this Conservative legacy today in Northampton, as 14,330 adultssit on waiting lists for mental health support services with hundreds of referrals continuing to be cancelled or closed off each year before patients even see a health professional. Everyone on that waiting list deserves better.
The impact on our kids is considerable, with 3,790 children now on Northampton mental health support waiting lists and parents unable to gain help early, potentially endangering each child’s mental health. Frequently, these children are left languishing in A&E because they can’t receive treatment in the community. Our children deserve better.
After 13 years of Conservative Government, NHS and council mental health services are at breaking point, with overstretched staff unable to meet the needs of our children. The figures demonstrate that Northampton has been badly let down by the Tories and in desperate need of proper funding for services. Our community deserves better.
I know first-hand the challenges many people face when they seek help with a mental health issue. The lottery of trying to find a therapist who is taking patients, the pressure put on you to repeat to each individual you speak to how you’re feeling and your challenges and the waiting for months for a response from our overstretched mental health services.
Unlike many in our community I have been fortunate that when I sought help, I was able to navigate the system and gain the support I needed. But the statistics make clear that so many of our neighbours, friends and relatives continue to be failed by the Conservatives’ legacy.
Labour have a plan to tackle the mental health crisis in Northampton. A Labour Government is intent on recruiting thousands more mental health staff, guaranteeing treatment within a month, and providing access to a mental health professional in every Northampton school. A Labour Government will also enshrine a preventative approach to mental health, opening mental health hubs for children and young people locally and working in partnership with health professionals to solve the problem, rather than fighting them on picket lines.
As a Labour candidate, I will ensure that our children, friends, family, and neighbours are provided with the mental health services Northampton deserves.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, said:
“Waiting lists are soaring and patients are left receiving inadequate treatment, all as a result of the Government failing on children’s mental health. Once again, it’s the most vulnerable paying the price for the Tories’ shocking neglect.
“After 13 years of Conservative mismanagement of our NHS, children are being left to languish in Emergency Departments, instead of receiving appropriate mental health treatment. Mental health services are now on their knees.
“The next Labour Government will prioritise a truly preventative plan for mental health services and will put patient care first. We will ensure access to mental health professionals in every school and put an open access hub in every community, funded by closing tax loopholes. This is in addition to guaranteeing mental health treatment within a month for all who need it, by recruiting thousands of new mental health staff.”