Prime Minister Theresa May announced yesterday (9 January) a package of measures to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities. The plans aim to make mental health an everyday concern, helping ensure that no one affected by mental ill-health goes unattended. Further details of the plan can be found here.

Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, said:

“We welcome the prime minister’s commitment to actively championing better mental health, particularly tackling the wider problem of social stigma, an enormous barrier to accessing employment and reintegrating into communities.

“The prime minister mentioned additional funding will be made available to improve mental health services but did not specify when or how much, or whether the way funding is distributed will be improved. Specialist local charities are essential to many people’s recovery from mental health issues. Not only is lack of funding holding back service delivery for these organisations but, according to our research published last month, commissioning processes at both local and central government levels are a major hurdle for community-based mental health charities, preventing them from reaching those most in need of help.

“For more than 30 years, Lloyds Bank Foundation has supported specialist local charities helping people from the most disadvantaged communities manage mental ill health. We currently provide grants to more than 120 such charities across England and Wales, an investment totalling almost £4.8m (as of Q4 2016), and are in the process of making a number of new grants already this year.

“We welcome the prime minister’s renewed commitment to tackling mental health injustices and Paul Farmer, a Foundation trustee and CEO of Mind, reviewing how support for mental health in the workplace can be improved. We look forward to working with the government to make these commitments a reality and ensuring that specialist charities, who are integral to the mental wellbeing of so many of our communities, are part of the solution. More broadly, we welcome the prime minister’s commitment to charities and look forward to working with her to create an environment in which they can thrive.”