Labour outlines mental health plan with aim to ‘get people back to work’

Labour have outlined a mental health plan that they pledge will “get people back to work” as they aim to increase economic growth.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer unveiled their election manifesto on Thursday which promises to “get the NHS back on its feet” while generating economic growth and making Labour the “party of wealth creation”.

Their mental health plan is to recruit an extra 8,500 new mental health staff to treat children and adults, with New Young Futures hubs to provide open access mental health services for children and young people in every community.

Additionally the party have pledged mental health support will be available in every school.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said there is a crisis in mental illness that is keeping people out of the labour market and costing the country billions.

Ahead of a visit to a men’s mental health charity, Mr Streeting said: “The Tories’ high tax, low growth record offers no hope for the future – just £4,800 more on the mortgages of working families.

“People right across the country are being denied the support that they need to get into work and stay in work.

“The increase in mental ill health under the Tories is costing Britain £23 billion per year.

“Labour’s first steps for growth will deliver the fully-funded and fully-costed mental health plan to support people who want to work, to be in work.

“8,500 new mental health workers – paid for by closing tax loopholes, are part of Labour’s first steps to get the country back on course to growth.”

Common conditions which force adults out of work include depression, anxiety and phobias.

Last year, the Office for National Statistics estimated that more than a third of 16-34 year olds who are out of work were affected by one or more of these conditions, with an estimated 1.2 million people currently waiting for mental health treatment.