May's Reforms: A Triumph For Mental Health | Alistair McHugh

This week, Theresa May announced plans to increase funding for services aiding mental health, and increase support for those in the workplace experiencing mental health issues. Now, mental health is an issue that has been prodded and poked at throughout the coalition government, with some rhetoric from those in office talking of it’s importance, but never really making it onto the mainstream political agenda. For now, we can enjoy the triumph of mental health receiving it’s belated attention, but the real fight starts with seeing it cultivate as a societal norm.

Mental health is something that affects us all at some point in our lives. By not tending to these issues within the medical, political arena, for so long we have delegitimised the issue of maintaining a healthy mind. And with it, a stigma towards talking about such issues within our head has developed. Feeling as if our mind doesn’t matter, because our bodies are in working order. Bringing mental health into the policy agenda works to change the societal attitudes to it, having an open discussion and debate legitimises mental health as a primary health concern. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. It has been a failure of such an advanced society to have discounted such an important and integral issue to people’s well-being for so long. With such vast infrastructure in place for tending to our physical well-being, it’s long overdue that we observe mental health in the same way.

For all the faults and failure’s of the Conservative’s management of our NHS, the triumph of having the Prime Minister doing a lone speech on the issue cannot be understated. The fight now is to see mental health services supported and implemented into society as a norm, and not to flounder with people’s mental health as the Conservative’s have done with our physical care of our people. The disappointment we see with this government’s management of our junior doctors, hospitals and ultimately patients cannot be mirrored in our advancement of mental health as an issue. The possibility to recreate the NHS as a service that properly tends to it’s staff, doctors and of course patient’s physical and mental health is certainly something to be optimistic and enthusiastic about, but only if it’s needs are properly met.

Nevertheless, in a political era dominated by the constant talks of Brexit and how Britain will operate outside of the European Union, getting domestic issues such as mental health firmly on the political agenda is a triumph for not only those advocating it’s cause for a long time, but for everyone within society. Increasing the support and understanding for young people within society, whether they be students, apprentices or in work, is a long overdue cause. The change and stresses that are constantly thrown at young people thus require an established and thorough service to help those who need it.

While it is a triumph to see mental health openly being discussed and tended to, the fight is now to see it properly treated and it’s services properly funded and implemented. If this government is honest about it’s desire to create a society that “works for everyone”, then it’s management of the NHS and it’s governance of mental health as a legitimate policy issue must change. We can forgive the sceptics who do not believe that remedies to this issue will be delivered, after so long of being disappointed with the government’s handling of our NHS. The issue of mental is one that will be thoroughly accentuated when it comes to electoral contestation, and if it’s value is once again neglected, I’m certain many to hold this government to account over it. For now, I remain optimistic that change is possible, we must recognise this triumph for the youth and those who have highlighted this country’s failing with our dangerous disregard to mental health as a legitimate issue, but it’s complete success can be measured when society has established the parity of mental and physical health.

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May's Reforms: A Triumph For Mental Health | Alistair McHugh May's Reforms: A Triumph For Mental Health | Alistair McHugh Reviewed by Student Voices on 10:59 Rating: 5

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