The Conservatives have launched their manifesto with a focus on tax cutting and several positive commitments to mental health issues, which reflect some of our own manifesto policies.

We welcome the recognition of the need for ‘a step change in mental health support for all’ and the extension of existing patient choice to include a wider range of NHS community services over time – including talking therapies.

Funding for community mental health hubs

The manifesto also includes a commitment to ‘increase the planned expansion of NHS Talking Therapies by 50%’. This echoes our manifesto call for increased choice and an expansion of existing NHS talking therapies, to better utilise the counselling and psychotherapy workforce, to help address growing demand.

We’re pleased that they’ve included our policy to fully fund mental health hubs for young people in every community, which we championed through our work, with partners, in the Fund the Hubs campaign.

They’ve also committed to deliver Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in 100% of schools by 2030.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t match the offer for a school counsellor in all schools, that some of the main parties have committed to, and that we have campaigned for.

Wider range of therapies promised

Our Four Nations Lead Steve Milligan said:

“We have long called for improved access and choice in relation to talking therapies and we welcome the direction of travel suggested in this manifesto. Ultimately, we’d like to see a wider range of therapies available and much better utilisation of the counselling and psychotherapy workforce than we have seen over the past decade. 

“Mirroring our manifesto, we also welcome the promise to provide early support hubs for those aged 11-25 in every local community, although we would like to see this delivered well in advance of the 2030 timeframe.

“Whilst it’s positive to see policies to expand mental health support in schools, without increasing the availability of professional support, we remain concerned that children and young people will continue to struggle to get the early intervention help they need. We’dd like to see a MHST+ model which incorporates school counselling into all Mental Health Support Teams.”

“Perhaps the most disappointing element is the row back on banning ‘conversion therapy’, which has been in successive Conservative manifestos since 2017. Whilst there is recognition that these practices are ‘abhorrent’, it calls for more time before reaching a decision on legislation”.

Manifesto mental health commitments

The mental health measures set out in the Conservative manifesto are:

• Expand coverage of Mental Health Support Teams from 50% to 100% of schools and colleges in England by 2030.
• Open early support hubs for those aged 11-25 in every local community by 2030. 
• Increase the planned expansion of NHS Talking Therapies by 50%, supporting people with anxiety, stress and depression.  
• Boost the capacity of Individual Placement and Support for Severe Mental Illness by 140,000 places.
• Pass a new law to provide better treatment and support for severe mental health needs in the first session of the next Parliament.
• Extend patients’ right to choose to more NHS community services over time, including talking therapies and other mental health services.

We are providing an overview of all political party manifestos as they’re published throughout the General Election campaign.  

You can support our General Election campaign by sharing our manifesto commitments with your local candidates via our easy-to-use online form.