By Ange Richardson - CVS Sector Development Officer

The Conservative Party manifesto sets out a full roll out of Mental Health Support Teams across all schools and colleges, and the establishment of early support hubs for young people aged 11-25 in every local area.  The manifesto doesn’t seem to have very much to say on what will be done to address the social determinants of mental health, such as poverty or mention any  action that will be taken to improve specialist mental health services for children and young people.  With mental health needs rising in children and young people, demand is far outstripping service capacity to respond. As a result, too many children are left to sit on long waiting lists for support. 


Labour plans to recruit 8,500 additional mental health staff to drive down waiting lists, funded through closing tax loopholes. Labour will make sure every young person will have access to a specialist mental health professional at school. With Labour’s Young Futures plan, every community will have an open access mental health hub for young people (11-24), providing early intervention through drop-in services. The schools’ element is to be paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools. The staffing is to be paid for by abolishing tax loopholes for private equity managers.  The manifesto also references Social Security Reform: recognising the link between poverty and poor mental health, Labour emphasises the importance of reforming the social security system to improve mental health outcomes and reduce inequalities. 


The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto includes promises on mental health, including to: 

  • Invest £11 billion in mental health over the next Parliament to expand access to therapies and increase the number of psychiatrists and specialist mental health practitioners. 
  • Implement all the recommendations of the independent review of the Mental Health Act, including bringing forward the necessary investment to modernise and improve inpatient settings and ambulances. 
  • Ensure that all children and young people with a diagnosable condition receive NHS treatment and ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools. 


The Green Party manifesto includes commitments around mental health and neurodiversity: 

  • A legal framework that supports the rights of those struggling with their mental health to be respected and to live fulfilling lives. 
  • Increased funding for mental health care, putting it on an equal footing with physical health care and enabling people to access evidence-based mental health therapies within 28 days. 
  • A trained and paid counsellor in every school and sixth-form college. 
  • Readily available tailored provision to meet the needs of communities of colour, children and adolescents, older people and LGBTIQA+ communities. 
  • Adequate support in the school system for neurodivergent children and children with special educational needs. 
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