On 4th July 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Bird “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the role of job security and reducing inequality in tackling the prevalence of mental illness.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for bringing forward this debate, for his distinctive introduction of a kind that we always enjoy when he speaks in the House, and for his tireless work in trying to support people who, for all sorts of reasons, find themselves disadvantaged. I pay tribute to him.
Inequality, unemployment and mental ill health are three interconnected, intersecting areas which are important to address if we are to have a flourishing and thriving society in which all can participate. As we know, mental ill health is one of the two main disabilities affecting participation in work. I am glad that the Government have decided that the NHS long-term plan will assist people with mental health issues into work. That plan recognises that mental health problems disproportionately impact on people living in poverty and those who face various forms of discrimination. This is a huge step forward in the visibility and awareness of this issue, and I hope that it really will help us move ahead.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans on links between inequality, unemployment and mental ill health”
On 1st July 2019 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care repeated a statement made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the implementation of the NHS long-term plan. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, as a former member of the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS Committee, I welcome the long-term plan and the Government’s response to it. I am especially glad that mental health issues will achieve financial parity with physical health issues. Does the Minister agree that research into and attention to the causes of these ever-increasing issues is as important as more spending on their treatment?
Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks about funding for research into mental health”
On 25th June 2019 Lord Dubs asked the Government “how many unaccompanied child refugees have entered the United Kingdom since the beginning of 2016 under (1) section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 or (2) the provisions of the Dublin III Regulation”. The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the recent report by the Church of England’s Children’s Society entitled DistressSignals, in which the mental health of unaccompanied children entering the UK for asylum was examined? The report notes that these children show a high risk of suicide and self-harm and find it extremely difficult to communicate their needs and fears to professionals. Does she recognise the value of these young people being assured and guaranteed access to a guardian—a respected, stable, safe and trained person—so that they can have the support they need?
Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester raises concerns about the mental health of unaccompanied child refugees”
On 24th June 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from Government, in reply to five questions about problem gambling and gaming machines in the armed forces and on the armed forces estates:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL16430 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of gambling-related harm amongst (1) veterans, and (2) those currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces; and whether the Ministry of Defence has conducted any research into gambling participation rates in those groups.
(ii) HL16429 to ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) Fixed-Odd Betting Terminals and (2) Electronic Gaming Machines, are located on Ministry of Defence property in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, and (4) 2018; and who was the beneficiary of any such money.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is available to problem gamblers who are currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the number of problem gamblers who are currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
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On Wednesday 27th March 2019 Lord Storey asked the Government “what plans they have to ensure that all alternative education providers are providing a quality education.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I am grateful for the Question from the noble Lord, Lord Storey, and for the Minister’s answers to previous questions. At the Aspire Academy in Hull, an alternative provision academy that forms part of the Sentamu Academy Learning Trust, a unique multi-professional team that includes a clinical psychologist, a psychotherapist, speech and language therapists and educational psychologists is in place to ensure that students’ mental health and special educational needs are met. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that mental health care and special needs provision are part of what it means for alternative provision providers to offer a quality education?
Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about mental health support for children in alternative provision”
On 25th March 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on problem gambling-related suicide:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of Gambling disorder, increased mortality, suicidality, and associated comorbidity: A longitudinal nationwide register study, published in November 2018; and in particular its finding that problem gamblers are 15 times more likely to take their own lives. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about problem gambling related suicides”
On 30th January 2019 the House of Lords debated a question from Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent concerns expressed by general practitioners that children and young people with mental health problems are unable to access National Health Service treatments; and what steps they will take to address them.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, this is a very timely debate, and I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, and congratulate her on securing it. We have heard some of the alarming statistics on children and young people with mental health needs, and we know that current NHS services are unable to meet this disturbing increase. In an ideal world, we would be asking ourselves why there should be such an increase—some of the reasons were mentioned by the noble Baronesses, Lady Chisholm and Lady Massey—and doing our best to tackle the causes rather than just attend to the consequences. But that is another debate.
Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle highlights need for community mental health treatment for young people with learning difficulties”
On Tuesday 27th November 2018 Lord Storey asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to develop mental health support in schools.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, while I am grateful for the increased funding that is now available for mental health services for young people, is the Minister aware of the real difficulties facing young people in a crisis situation? I am thinking of a 14 year-old who asked his father to take him to the GP because he was afraid he might do something silly. The GP sat and listened very sympathetically, but then said, “I’m afraid there’s very little I can do for you. If I give you a referral to CAHMS you probably won’t get an appointment for a year”. Is that not a crisis situation? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester raises need for more mental health crisis support for young people”
On 22nd November 2018 Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty’s Government “how much of the National Health Service mental health budget goes towards intervention to address domestic and sexual violence and abuse.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about elder abuse:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is much to be welcomed that the Government are allocating this money. I am also glad that the needs of young people have been highlighted, but the Minister will be aware that statistics show that roughly 340,000 elderly people are suffering abuse in the community each year. If we are not tracking how the money is spent, how can we be sure that the mental health needs of the elderly are being properly addressed at a particularly vulnerable point in their lives? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about elder abuse and mental health support”