With all the results now in we can reflect on what has been a busy and fruitful General Election campaign for BACP.
We would like to thank our members who took the time to write to candidates to put counselling and psychotherapy firmly on the agenda.
Your efforts in writing hundreds of letters will help us to build relationships with the more than 100 new MPs who will enter Parliament this week.
We were pleased to see 15 of our policies reflected in 12 manifestos across the four nations of the UK, demonstrating that there is universal support for counselling and psychotherapy across the parties.
The incoming Government has pledged to increase the budget of the NHS in England by £20.5bn in real terms by 2023-24 and health is set to be their biggest domestic area of focus over the next year, alongside Brexit.
While we welcomed the Conservative manifesto in reflecting our core aim on parity of esteem, we were disappointed by the lack of detail on how this will be achieved over the course of the next Parliament.
The hard work starts now, and we need to push the incoming Government to show much more ambition on the mental health agenda, and particularly for counselling.
We also know the existing NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan outlined the need for a substantial expansion of the psychological professions. This needs to be a priority of the next Government and we are keen to work with it on this unprecedented and much-needed transformation.
Our President David Weaver said: “We were clear in our manifesto that only by providing improved access to a wider choice of psychological therapies, including counselling and psychotherapy, will this new Government get to grips with the mental health crisis facing the nation.
“We will continue to campaign with our members to end the ongoing postcode lottery and to ensure much greater support for the most vulnerable in our society, children and young people and older people.
“I’d particularly like to use this opportunity to praise BACP’s Vice President Luciana Berger, who narrowly missed out being elected in Finchley and Golders Green. In her nine-year Parliamentary career, Luciana was the first MP to be a Shadow Mental Health Minister, and a fabulous champion for BACP and the counselling profession.
"We look forward to working with the Government and newly elected and returning members of Parliament across the political spectrum to leave them in no doubt that counselling changes lives.”