Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan has announced her resignation from her role as Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health.

In her letter to Keir Starmer, she noted that the Leader of the Opposition had told her that he did not "see a space for a mental health portfolio in a Labour Cabinet".

Responding, our CEO Anna Daroy said:

"The downgrading of this role shows a disappointing disregard for the nation’s mental health and a worrying lack of foresight about one of the major issues facing the UK now and over the coming years, particularly among young people. This follows the Government's decision in November 2022 to incorporate the mental health portfolio within a dual role of mental health and women's health. 

Prioritise mental health

"There is a growing demand for mental health support, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Yet too many people are unable to access the help they need or face long waits. All political parties should prioritise the mental health of the nation and must think proactively about the investment and action required to improve access to and choice of mental health support, including counselling and psychotherapy. This should be front and centre of their plans and manifestos.

Policy change, investment and leadership

"As highly-qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, BACP members have the training, skills and expertise to support the mental health of the nation. But we need policy change, investment and leadership from within Westminster so counselling can change more people’s lives. 

"We were pleased to have had a strong working relationship with Dr Allin-Khan who shared our ambitions for increased investment in therapy and the need for a counsellor in every school. Last year Dr Allin-Khan spoke about the incredible job done by counsellors and psychotherapists as she made the case for greater investment in mental health at an event we hosted at the Labour party conference.

"We hope Sir Keir Starmer does not undo the hard work Dr Allin-Khan put into campaigning for better mental health support and continues to champion the commitments Labour have already made during her tenure to extend counselling support in health and education settings.”