The Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto featuring strong commitments on mental health issues, including many key policies we’ve campaigned on.

We’re pleased to see our call for a counsellor in every school reflected in their commitment for a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every primary and secondary school. This would be funded by increasing the Digital Services Tax on social media firms and other tech giants.

Mental health community hubs

They’ve also included our policy to fully fund mental health hubs for young people in every community, which we championed through our work, with partners, on the Fund the Hubs Campaign. And they’ve committed to banning all forms of conversion therapies and practices, as recommended in our manifesto to all political parties.

Our Four Nations Lead Steve Mulligan said “In a manifesto billed to ‘save the NHS’, the Liberal Democrats have put health and social care at the centre to its offer to the British public and within this have made some strong commitments on mental health.

Increased access to talking therapies

“It’s great that they’ve echoed our call to increase access to talking therapies for all. In our manifesto we demonstrate how we can increase the range of therapies available by better utilising the current counselling and psychotherapy workforce.

“We also welcome the focus on community suicide prevention services. Our manifesto called on much greater support for voluntary and community mental health providers, including providing appropriate and sustainable funding to recognise and help address growing demand.

“Another of our key asks was for the next Government to demonstrate leadership in the form of a mental health minister at cabinet level; – thelevel; the Lib Dems recognise this vacuum, but are instead calling for an independent Mental Health Commissioner to represent patients, their families and carers.”

Manifesto mental health commitments 

The mental health measures set out in the Liberal Democrat manifesto are:

• Opening walk-in hubs for children and young people in every community.
• Offering regular mental health check-ups at key points in people’s lives when they are most vulnerable to mental ill-health.
• Putting a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every school.
• Ending out-of-area mental health placements by increasing capacity and coordination between services, so that no one is treated far from home.
• Extending young people’s mental health services up to the age of 25 to end the drop-off experienced by young people transitioning to adult services.
• Increasing access to clinically effective talking therapies.
• Taking an evidence-led approach to preventing and treating eating disorders, and challenging damaging stigma about weight.
• Making prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions free on the NHS, as part of our commitment to review the entire schedule of exemptions for prescription charges.
• Transforming perinatal mental health support for those who are pregnant, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.
• Tackling stigma through continued support for public education including Time to Talk.
• Cutting suicide rates with a focus on community suicide prevention services and improving prevention training for frontline NHS staff.
• Recognising the relationship between mental health and debt and providing better signposting between talking therapies and debt advice.
• Ending inappropriate and costly inpatient placements for people with learning disabilities and autism.
• Modernising the Mental Health Act to strengthen people’s rights, give them more choice and control over their treatment and prevent inappropriate detentions.
• Creating a statutory, independent Mental Health Commissioner to represent patients, their families and carers.
• Widening the current safety investigation into mental health hospitals to look at the whole patient experience, including ward design and treatment options.

We’ll provide an overview of all the political party manifestos as they’re published throughout the week.

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