The Election and Well Being
My understanding is that this exceptional personal political victory for the Prime Minister gives him space to further deliver on his vision for well being. It is nine years since this Oxford student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics declared: ‘it’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – General Well Being’, five years since his speech as PM on well being and the influential Commission on the Measurement of Progress.
The PM’s confidant and official Downing Street biographer, Dr Anthony Seldon knighted last year, is the eminent headmaster and political historian who claims “Introducing well being or 'happiness' classes at Wellington College in 2006” as his top innovation.
We start this second parliament with the UK systematically measuring national well being and a completed series of reports focusing our attention on the benefits of promoting well being for school children to help them achieve, flourish and thrive. These reports also build a compelling case for HM Treasury to invest in the early identification and prevention of illbeing with the associated long term costs of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. During this process the UK has become global leader in well being.
The Mindfulness Foundation 2015 Manifesto requests that these three policies are implemented for children to thrive and reduce the the £100 billion annual costs of Mental Health problems. We also support The Mental Health Policy Group Manifesto for Better Mental Health.
For children to thrive and reduce the costs of mental health problems the next Government must:
1. Nurtures children’s wellbeing – including practices like mindfulness – as an important policy priority. The Chief Medical Officer reports "It is known that 75% of mental illness in adult life (excluding dementia) starts before age 18". As the O’Donnell Report observes, there is good evidence that children’s emotional wellbeing strongly predicts their later mental health as adults.16&17
2. The national curriculum to include the measured requirement to teach children and young people how to look after their mental health and build emotional resilience through approaches such as mindfulness. OFSTED would be charged with measuring Wellbeing and progress towards the goal of at least 80 per cent of primary and secondary schools incorporating wellbeing programmes into school curriculum by 2020.12
3. Mindfulness to become a regular practice taught in schools. Schools will routinely measure the well-being of their children, and all teachers will be taught to understand mental illness and how it can be helped.13
- Wellbeing in four policy areas
- The Pursuit of Happiness: A New Ambition for our Mental Health
- Thrive: The Power of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies
- Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays
the six leading
What the next
do to improve
the lives of people
with mental health
In May 2015, Britain goes to the polls to vote for the next government. This is our chance to make sure those living with mental health problems get the services
and support they need to recover, stay well and lead fulfilling lives.
That's why we've written our own manifesto 'Take action for better mental health' which tells politicians and policy makers what we expect the next government to do.