Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:29 pm on 17th January 2019.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Conservative, Plymouth, Moor View 1:29 pm, 17th January 2019

I pay tribute to Luciana Berger. She is right that it is wonderful to be in this place today with the noise dialled down, so that we can work on and think carefully about one of the most important issues in this country. Mental health is the No. 1 challenge for millions of people in this country every day. If we can meet that challenge in some way by working in the collaborative way that she talked about, that is wonderful. I am really pleased that she has secured this debate and that the Minister is here to listen to it. I also pay tribute to Norman Lamb. The three of us have worked together on a number of issues. Like in any team, there are those who lead from the front and do all the heavy lifting and hard work, and that is definitely not me. I want to say a massive thanks to them for their efforts in getting us here today.

When I came into this place in 2015, I talked about how I wanted to end in this Parliament the stigma around mental health. I have found since then that there is still this—it is hard to understand—air around suicide that people do not want to talk about or address, but it remains the biggest killer of men under 44 in this country. Unless we talk about it, we will not come up with ways that interdict and meet the challenge.