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

The hon. Lady is right. There is no point in getting people to come forward and talk about mental health, which can be very difficult, if we do not have the services or access to them to help them, after they have made themselves vulnerable in that way. That is why I am so keen to keep our foot to the gas and ensure that we start delivering on this. We have made progress—that is undeniable—but clearly there is a long way to go, and I will come on to that.

I want to address the point about legislation. As someone who does a lot of work in the armed forces community and on the armed forces covenant, I know that people will say, “Why legislate?” I have learnt in this place that we can have a number of good ideas and initiatives that we can encourage people to do but, ultimately, this is too big a challenge to be left to personalities involved in companies at different times. Sometimes we have to legislate for it. This is not a problem for the companies that already do this, but sometimes the most vulnerable people in our communities deserve the Government legislating and letting them know that we are on side.