Several constituents have recently been in touch about the Mental Health Act.
The Government announced reform to mental health policy in last year's Queen's Speech, in order to continue to reduce the number of people detained in police cells under the Mental Health Act. A comprehensive review of the Mental Health Act, which has remained unchanged for more than three decades, will examine existing practices, and address the disproportionately high rates of detention of people from ethnic minorities. The review will be led by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and he will consider the needs of all users of mental health services and their families, with the aim of improving the system's support for those during a mental health crisis.
On mental health more generally, I agree with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, that while it is hugely welcome that we are on the road to parity of esteem there is still more to do. I am extremely encouraged by the news that, as part of the five-year funding offer that will see the NHS budget grow by over £33.9 billion a year, mental health services will receive an additional £2.3 billion per year, the fastest uplift in funding. This will enable further service expansion and faster access to community and crisis mental health services for both adults and particularly children and young people.
I am pleased that a new mental health crisis service with comprehensive mental health support will be available in every major A&E, alongside new children and young peoples' crisis teams across the country. The additional funding will also deliver more mental health ambulances, "safe havens" in the community; and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline when people are in urgent need of help.
I hope that these new services help end the stigma surrounding mental health, offering crucial support to people suffering from crisis and those who have suffered in silence for too long.