Act Early: how you got young people's mental health on the agenda in 2019
A big thank you to everyone who added their voice to our Act Early campaign. Here's an update on what we've achieved and what's next.
In September 2019, we launched the Act Early campaign with a petition calling on the Government to make early intervention a priority and to introduce a cross-government strategy that looks at the factors that lead to poor mental health.
We launched the campaign because, despite recent investment in the NHS, services remain overstretched and too many young people reach crisis point before they get any support.
Within two months, over 70,000 people had signed our petition and when the general election was called in November, YoungMinds Activists handed this into the three main political parties. Behind the scenes, we were meeting with MPs to make sure your voice was heard.
Your impact at the general election
Ahead of the general election in December, thousands of people emailed their local parliamentary candidates asking them to pledge their support for young people’s mental health. Over 450 candidates pledged their support on Twitter and many emailed individually with their party position on mental health. By taking action, you made sure that candidates were aware of how important this issue is. We are now contacting the MPs that were elected to make sure they stick to their pledge and deliver for young people’s mental health.
The campaign also put pressure on all the main parties to focus on mental health in their election manifestos. It was positive to see that all the parties addressed at least some of the issues we raised - you can read what each of them promised here.
What's next for the campaign?
We need to make sure that young people’s mental health is firmly on the new government’s agenda, and that they understand the reality of how hard it can be to find support. We’ll soon be asking you to take action again by getting your MP to come to an event we will be organising in Parliament.
We will also continue to talk to the media about why young people’s mental health is so important. Most recently we spoke out about the sharp rise in NHS hospital admissions for eating disorders and why children have been refused treatment for not being unwell enough. Both these stories show that we are facing a crisis, and that there is far more to do.
A big thank you...But there's more to do
A massive thank you to everyone who signed the petition and emailed their candidates during the general election. You really did make a difference in 2019, but there is a lot more we need to achieve in 2020.
We know that a lot of young people feel like their voice is not heard. We want you to know that we are listening to you and we are fighting to make sure that every young person gets the support they need for their mental health.