Ahead of the Senedd Cymru elections we’re publishing our manifesto which champions the critical role of counselling and psychotherapy in helping Wales respond to the mental health challenges of the pandemic.
The manifesto also seeks to address some of the long-standing barriers to the availability of timely and adequately resourced mental health support.
This election in May, which coincides with the end of the ten year Together for Mental Health Strategy, provides an important opportunity to look at the framework for mental health support in Wales, ensuring people get the help they need, when they need it.
The pandemic has highlighted the clear mental health inequalities in Wales, with a disproportionate impact on particular groups such as those on a low income; people with an existing mental health condition; children and young adults; and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Supporting the mental health of these groups needs to be central to the design and delivery of all mental health services across Wales.
Our manifesto restates the need for the next Welsh government to use the experience of our members in Wales to help meet the growing demand for mental health support. Download the Welsh manifesto (pdf).
It calls for additional targeted support in four core areas:
- Improved access and choice in psychological therapies underpinned with greater investment and more targeted support for those who have suffered most through the pandemic.
- Funding for tiered bereavement support specifically designed to support people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 or have been bereaved during the pandemic restrictions.
- Free relationship counselling to lower-income families facing distress from the impact of the pandemic.
- Strengthening the economic recovery from COVID-19 in Wales by supporting employers, employees and vulnerable groups through counselling in the workplace.
Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said: “The pandemic has shone a light on the serious mental health inequalities that exist in Wales, and indeed across the UK.
Counselling and psychotherapy
“The next Welsh Government needs to rapidly address this by targeting support at those individuals and communities who’ve fallen through the gaps, and providing a much more holistic offer which uses the counselling and psychotherapy workforce in Wales.
“This election will be very different, due to the lack of face-to-face campaigning.
“However, we encourage our members to engage in any opportunities to highlight our manifesto asks with candidates at online forums or virtual hustings events over the coming months, as well as sharing our manifesto with their networks.”
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