UK universities are at the forefront of a mental health crisis.
1 in 10 young people now live with a mental illness.
75% of these illnesses develop before the average age for graduation.
61% of UK universities have seen demand for counselling increase by more than a quarter.
We believe that this simply isn't good enough.
So, what do we want to do about it?
Better funding for early intervention services
Early intervention is essential to the quality of mental health care received. We believe in funding early intervention services so that they can address people's mental health needs as soon as they arise and make a greater difference to people struggling with their mental health. These services need greater investment, especially as we face a mental health crisis on campus.
Parity for mental and physical health
Nobody would accept two-year waiting times for severe physical illness, but that is still the case for severe mental illness. The Young Liberals believe in parity for mental and physical health for a good quality of life. We believe this begins with comparable waiting time standards as a step towards a parity of services.
Better treatment for addiction
Drug and alcohol policy is currently dealt with by the Homer Office. We believe it belongs in the Department of Health. Drug and alcohol addiction isn't just another crime to crack down on; it's a mental health issue, and it's about time we started treating it as such.
Ending detainment of those with mental health disorders
Under current UK law, an individual can be detained for having a 'mental health disorder'. This includes Asperger's and learning disabilities. We believe this law is an antiquated hangover from the past, and should be scrapped, to be replaced by a 'mental capacity' test that recognises that every case is different.
Increase mental health training at schools
It wouldn't be acceptable to have staff untrained in physical healthcare, so why let it be the case for mental healthcare? We want to ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues, and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling.
Want mental health taken seriously?
We think it's about time too.