We were really pleased to see the commitment to mental health reform in the manifestos of several parties and would like to thank all residents, participants and staff who helped to influence the MPs and policymakers we have met with over the last year. Whilst we were far from the only organisation campaigning for changes, your powerful words have undoubtedly had an impact! 

The mental health challenges faced by our population are well documented in the mainstream media and we have heard this acknowledged by some of the leading parties in the imminent election. However, the reality of the experiences of our residents and participants who have accessed the mental health care system over the past few decades, demonstrates that stigma and discrimination are embedded in the Mental Health Act 1983 and this has ramifications on the support available to people managing acute conditions. 

Social Interest Group have been passionately lobbying MPs and decision makers this year to revive the mental health act reform that so many have worked towards in recent years. Across our services, we have invited local MP’s and mental health leaders to meet with our residents and participants and understand the impact of the mental health act and related legislation in real and practical effect on the people it is supposed to serve and support. 

As a grassroots provider, we are compelled to advocate for reform to statutory service provision which is evidenced as disproportionately impacting persons of colour, stripping people of choice in their treatment, and exploiting vulnerabilities people face in their personal health and social disparity.  

Inequity in policy has exacerbated health inequalities and we have put forward key changes that are needed to address this to MPs serving our residents in their constituencies: ensuring advocates for those receiving treatment, abolishing community treatment orders and a shift of resources in the community for the best care and support will bring changes for dignified and effective support. 

We are therefore relieved to see pledges in the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos which address urgent mental needs through legislative reform to facilitate improvements in both treatment and support. Many of our services are in Labour party constituencies and we welcome our asks for patients choice, autonomy, rights and support being reflected in their manifesto. 


Raje Ballagan-Evans, Policy and Impact Manager