Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 – NSFT

A genuine National Health Service has to include mental health. Mental health illness is a seriously debilitating issue and so often key to overall health.

For too long however, the NHS had not taken mental health seriously.

That has to change. Nationally, but nowhere more than here in Norfolk and Suffolk where the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) has let down patients and their loved ones for over a decade. Too many patients have been let down with too little support where it’s needed – on the ground in the places and at the times when those in acute need and those in the early stages of a journey need it.

That’s why, this Mental Health Awareness Week, I continue to do everything I can to bring about the serious reform we need to see at the NSFT.

Having resigned from the Government in the autumn, I’m using my additional freedom as a backbench MP to work with Clive Lewis MP and mobilise the Norfolk and Suffolk MPs to strengthen the campaign to improve mental health services in the region and ensure the voices of patients and users are properly heard.

The problems at NSFT are finally being tackled, but it’s clear that the system needs major reform to put the needs – and voices – of patients, service users, families and carers at the heart of the service.

See below a short video I filmed after the recent meeting that Clive Lewis MP and I convened with the Mental Health Minister, fellow Norfolk and Suffolk MPs and local campaigners.

I look forward to further vital meetings and conversations with patient groups and the NSFT this week as I look to make sure we get the urgent improvements we need.

To find out more about my work ‘Speaking Up for Mental Health Services’, please visit my campaign page here.