Mental health services 'on brink of collapse' warns Sheffield MP

A Sheffield MP has said constituents struggling with their mental health have been turning to politicians for support as services are on the brink of collapse.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, says she is contacted daily by people who had tried every avenue to get help with their mental health.
Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, says she is contacted daily by people who had tried every avenue to get help with their mental health.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, says she is contacted daily by people who had tried every avenue to get help with their mental health including a person who waited hours in A&E only to be told to go home, take sleeping tablets and have a hot bath.

She said: “Our mental health services are on the brink of collapse after decades of decline at the hands of successive Tory governments.

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"A quarter of mental health beds have been cut and more than a third of young people were turned away from mental health services last year alone.

It’s appalling that 1.6 million people are currently waiting for mental health treatment.

“The pandemic has had a profound effect on us all and none more so than our young people, and those on lower incomes, and with the cost-of-living crisis this is only going to get worse.

“The government must intervene now and provide mental health charities and public health with investment and resources they need to ensure that they can adequately support people with their mental health. If they don’t, they are in danger of failing a whole generation.”

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Ms Haigh raised the issue during Mental Health Week – from May 9 to May 15 – and called on government to urgently take control of the crisis by investing in services.

She said if Labour was in power it would guarantee mental health treatment within a month for all who need it and put specialist support in every school.

Government figures show the number of young people needing support has risen to one in six and Age UK estimate more than two million over the age of 50 will need help by 2026.

In the Queen’s Speech earlier this week the government said it would publish draft legislation to reform the Mental Health Act and is currently calling for evidence to feed into its 10-year plan to improve services.

Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporting Service