Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the UK and devolved governments to work together on a shared action plan to support the mental health of frontline workers during the coronavirus crisis. Speaking remotely in Parliament, Mr Carmichael highlighted the renewed importance of governments setting an example during Mental Health Awareness Week and the value of a four-nations plan to boost cooperation.
Speaking via video link, Mr Carmichael said:
“This being Mental Health Awareness Week can we spend some time considering the mental health impact that the coronavirus pandemic is going to have on those frontline health and social care workers that are charged with tackling it.
“In particular would it not be a great example for the good working of our four governments if an action plan on mental health could be constructed that would have the support of all four governments?”
Responding, the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP said:
"The Right Honourable Gentleman is right to raise this. This is Mental Health Awareness Week and I have at front of mind the mental health impact, particularly on staff, but across the board of coronavirus. We work very closely with the four CMOs of the UK and between ministers to make sure that clinical advice is coordinated. After all it is based on the science and I am very happy to take these proposals forward and discuss it with the CMOs.”
Reacting afterwards, Mr Carmichael said:
“I am glad that the Secretary of State spoke positively about a collaborative plan on mental health. Instead of quibbling and drawing false comparisons it would show a positive example for health workers if all governments can work together on a joint plan on mental health.”