The Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto contained a pledge to end mental health discrimination, recognising that mental health has been stigmatised and ignored. It acknowledged that one in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year and stressed the need to treat mental health as seriously as physical health.
The Progressive Agreement contained a commitment that “mental health discrimination is ended”.
As Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams has announced pilots to test approaches on early identification and intervention for children with emotional and mental health problems.
The 2017/18 Welsh Government budget announced £20million of additional funding ringfenced for mental health services.
Together for Mental Health is the Welsh Government’s 10 year strategy to improve mental health and wellbeing, and improve the care and treatment of people using mental health services, along with their carers and their families. The 2016-19 delivery plan contains five overarching priorities, one of which is to end mental health discrimination. This priority is restated in Taking Wales Forward, the programme outlining the Welsh Government’s legislative priorities.
Cllr Elizabeth Evans, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, said:
“In Wales and Westminster Liberal Democrats have ensured mental health is pushed up the agenda.
“In the Welsh Government we are ensuring the needs of people suffering with mental health issues are placed front and centre. There is a lot of work still to be done and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to work towards the ending of mental health discrimination.”