Theresa May’s latest ‘initiative’ shows she’s now just trolling everyone living with mental health issues

Theresa May mental health
Support us and go ad-free

On Tuesday 10 October, during World Mental Health Day, Theresa May announced a £15m new fund for “mental health first aid” (MHFA) training in England. But this latest initiative from the Conservative government is a slap in the face to everyone who lives with mental health issues; as the cuts to services meted out by the Tories have probably contributed to the need for MHFA in the first place.

Wait, what…?

Public Health England (PHE) said the new, three-year fund will train up to one million people in basic MHFA. It noted:

The programme will improve personal resilience and help people recognise and respond effectively to signs of mental illness in others. The campaign… will help people assess their own mental wellbeing and learn techniques to reduce stress.

May said:

I want to use the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society, and at every stage of life.

Cut to the bone

But May’s words will ring hollow with many people living with mental health issues. Because her party has been responsible for numerous cuts to their services; cuts which could be leaving people in situations where MHFA is the only option left. As The Canary has documented:

  • The NHS has seen a real-terms cut in the amount of money given to it per patient.
  • The Tories have cut almost £50m from children’s mental health services.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, mental health trusts lost the equivalent of £598m from their budgets each year.
  • Findings show that there are still around £4.5m of mental health spending cuts across five areas of England to come.
  • 726 patients a month are being treated “out of area” from where they live.
  • The number of people arriving in A&E with psychiatric issues has doubled since 2010.


And on 29 August, Labour’s Shadow Police Minister Louise Haigh highlighted another area where the impact of cuts to mental health services is being felt – the police. Freedom of Information requests submitted by her revealed the Metropolitan Police handled 115,000 calls relating to mental health in 2016; or one call every five minutes. As The Canary noted:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The figures show this is up from 2011/12 by a third. And calls aren’t the only thing on the rise. The Guardian reports that the use of mental health detention powers by police is also on course to increase. Police used these powers 28,271 times in 2015/16.

Sticking plasters on broken legs

The Canary asked PHE for comment, but none was received at the time of publication.

May’s latest initiative does little more than to put a sticking plaster on a broken leg; a limb that her party hit with a blunt instrument in the first place. This staggering level of hypocrisy is nothing new from the Tories. But it will surely add insult to injury to the millions of people living with mental health issues throughout England.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed