politics

Keir Starmer vows mental health treatment available within a month under Labour


The Labour leader will outline plans to help a million additional people get access to treatment by funding 8,500 new staff each year

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer prepares his Labour Party conference speech in his hotel
Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer prepares his Labour Party conference speech in his hotel

People will be able to get vital mental health treatment within a month if they need it under a Labour Government, Keir Starmer will vow.

The Labour leader will outline plans to help a million additional people get access to critical support by funding 8,500 new staff each year.

In a major speech to party faithful, Mr Starmer will warn that grappling with the crisis in mental health is “one of the most urgent needs of our time”.

Labour will set a new NHS target to ensuring patients get appropriate treatment – not simply an initial assessment of needs – within a month of referral.

And mental health hubs will be put into schools and in the community to help children and young people.








Labour leader Keir Starmer makes his first in-person party conference speech in Brighton
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Image:

Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)



Mr Starmer will say: “One of the urgent needs of our time is mental health.

“Labour will guarantee that support will be available in less than a month and offer treatment to a million more people each year who need it.

“We’ll make sure children and young people get early help, putting specialist support in every school and a mental health hub in every community.

“This is prevention in action. Helping young people, looking after their well-being.”

The policy would cost £1.1bn by 2028/29, which will be funded by plans to scrap VAT exemption for private schools and closing tax loopholes, the party said.

Mr Starmer will outline the plans in his hotly-anticipated speech on Wednesday, which is his first in-person address to conference since becoming leader last year.

He is also expected to vow to recruit thousands of new teachers to solve the schools crisis after years of Tory cuts.

Mr Starmer will say: “Labour will launch the most ambitious school improvement plan ever.”




With almost half of pupils leaving school without decent qualifications, he will pledge to recruit thousands of teachers to fill vacancies and skills gaps across the profession.

He is expected to use his speech to draw a line under the era of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn and present the party as a Government in waiting.

Mr Starmer will say: “Too often in the history of this party our dream of the good society falls foul of the belief that we will not run a strong economy.

“But you don’t get one without the other.

“And under my leadership we are committed to both.

“I can promise you that under my leadership Labour will be back in business.”


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