The Prime Minister visited Southwark to hear first-hand accounts of how mental health problems are affecting youngsters.
Theresa May visited mental health charity YoungMinds in Baden Place, SE1, today to hear about the reality of living with mental health problems – including how children are waiting months for treatment.
YoungMinds invited representatives from all of the major political parties to visit as it calls on whoever wins the next general election to “address the mental health crisis”.
Siobhan Baillie, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, accompanied Mrs May during her visit.
Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: “We were delighted to give Theresa May and Siobhan Baillie the opportunity to hear first-hand about the reality of living with mental health problems and how difficult it is to access support.
“At the moment, far too many children are waiting months for treatment – and this urgently needs to change.
“We have published a mental health manifesto calling for five crucial commitments, including calls for proper funding for services, and a rebalance of the education system so that schools can prioritise wellbeing and not just exam results.”
Siobhan Baillie, who also works as a family law solicitor and a local charity, said she was making mental health a priority for Bermondsey and Old Southwark.
“Theresa May has been so influential in driving the mental health agenda nationally and ensuring the rhetoric is turned into action – with mental health first aid being taught in schools, targeted funding and investment in 10,000 more NHS mental health staff, amongst many other initiatives,” she told the News.
“Theresa’s commitment to the cause was evident to everybody she met at YoungMinds today.
“We heard powerful stories from young people, parents and the amazing specialist staff at the centre.
“The inspiring young people thanked her for the focus she has bought to the issue before getting selfies.
“I have made mental health and wellbeing a priority in my work as a councillor, in my professional career as a family law solicitor, and for a local charity here.
“I am making it a priority for Bermondsey and Old Southwark and I am hugely proud to have the backing of Theresa May in my campaign.”
Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 is taking place this week from May 8 to May 14.
The event is coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation and this year’s theme is ‘surviving or thriving?’