The Conservative Party has launched its manifesto with a pledge to treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health, partly reflecting one of our key General Election asks.

The Conservative manifesto, which was launched on Sunday, said: “We will treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health. We will legislate so that patients suffering from mental health conditions, including anxiety or depression, have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve.”

We’ve contacted all parties with our key manifesto asks, including a commitment to achieving parity of esteem between mental and physical health.

Parity of esteem

Matt Smith Lilley, our Policy and Engagement Lead for Mental Health, said: “We’re pleased to see one of our core pledges on parity of esteem partly reflected in the Conservative Party manifesto. 

“We firmly believe that tackling this inherent inequality between physical and mental health is the only way to end the postcode lottery facing those in urgent need of psychological therapies.

“However, we’re disappointed by the lack of detail on how this will be achieved over the course of the next Parliament.

“Only by providing improved access to a wider choice of psychological therapies, including counselling and psychotherapy, do we believe the next Government will get to grips with the mental health crisis facing the nation.

“The manifesto also neglected to address the workforce challenges the NHS will face over the coming years, against the backdrop of Brexit.

“We know the existing NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 outlined the need for a substantial expansion of the psychological professions, therefore it is disappointing that this unprecedented and much-needed transformation isn’t reflected in the party’s pledges.”

Protect and promote counselling

Our asks have been published as part of our dedicated election web pages.

The web pages include information on what you can do to engage your local General Election candidates to help us protect and promote counselling across the country.

This includes some handy guides, alongside questions that you can put to your election candidate, either in writing or if they knock on your door.

And if you are on social media, use the hashtag #StandUpForCounselling to join in the conversation and see what fellow members are saying.

We will be publishing the commitments relating to counselling and mental health from all parties as announcements are made and manifestos are published.

Read our responses to the manifestos from the Green PartyLiberal Democrat, Labour Party, and DUP and Plaid Cymru.