Guarantee no more cuts to youth mental health

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Youth mental health is in crisis. YouGov stated in late 2016 that 1 in 4 students has a recognisable mental health condition. Alongside this, there were 130 student suicides (reported) in 2014, according to Samaritans. Despite this, services are totally inadequate at universities and other academic institutions across the country. The Higher Education Policy Institute said in 2016 that some universities need to triple their levels of funding to simply cope with current demand. This is clearly not good enough.

The Conservatives have pledged £15 million for youth mental health services at the next election, equating to merely £23,000 per constituency. Theresa May has defended this by appealing to the need to eliminate stigma, whilst realistically care workers, counsellors and other vital support staff for youth mental health are being laid off. Also, of the £1.25 billion in extra funding obtained by the Coalition government, it has been reported by YoungMinds that two-thirds of CCGs (GP-led bodies that buy in health services) have used this money to "backfill cuts or to spend on other priorities" in 2015-16, equating to millions of pounds in lost funding.

As students, some of whom have suffered personally and most who are familiar with someone who has suffered, we are immensely aware of the damage that this lack of funding can do to young lives. With this in mind we aim to hold the government to account for both this £15 million and the £1.4 billion promised by the Coalition government. Until this is secured, lives will continue to be torn apart by a government that seems to see funding for youth mental health as simply expendable. 



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