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Questions & Debates

There are a number of ways that MPs can raise issues with the Government. One way is to table Early Day Motions (EDMs); however, other ways include securing debates and tabling Parliamentary Questions.

Questions can be used to obtain information about an issue or keep an issue at the forefront of a Minister’s mind. Questions can be tabled for written answer, or an oral answer on the floor of the House of Commons. Although oral questions can make more of an impact, they are also far more difficult to table successfully. All written questions will be answered; however, the slots for asking oral questions are rare and the questions themselves are subject to a ballot before being asked.

Members of the APPG on Wellbeing Economics have used debates and questions to promote the Group’s agenda.

Debates & Oral Questions

Lords Debate – The Contribution of  Schools to the Wellbeing of Children (14th June 2012)
Baroness Jones of Whitchurch secured a debate on the above matter. The debate includes contributions from group members Lord Layard and Baroness Tyler, amoungst others.

Adjournment Debate – Children’s Subjective Well-being (24th January 2012)
Chris Ruane MP, a Group member, secured an adjournment debate on children’s subjective wellbeing with an Education Minister.

Cabinet Office Questions – National Wellbeing Statistics (24th November 2010)
Dr Julian Huppert MP, the Group’s Vice-Chair, asked the Cabinet Office about its plans to measure ‘national wellbeing’.

Debate on Policies for Growth (11th November 2010)
Dr Caroline Lucas MP, the Group’s Secretary, used part of her speech on growth policy to suggest at more emphasis should be put on wellbeing measures.

Dr Julian Huppert’s Maiden Speech (26th May 2010)
Dr Julian Huppert MP used part of his maiden speech to call for “rigorous metrics to measure this well-being throughout society, and then ensure that we bear them in mind when developing policy.”

Adjournment Debate – Quality of Life (11th June 2008)
Jo Swinson MP secured an adjournment debate with the Treasury on Quality of Life.

Treasury Questions – National Wellbeing Statistics (29 November 2007)
Jo Swinson MP asked the then Chancellor of the Exchequer about his department’s stated aim to raise “quality of life”, given that surveys suggest that the UK’s level of happiness has been broadly static for many decades.

Written Questions

2010-2012 Parliamentary Session

Written Answers — Health: Prescription Drugs (11 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were issued for the (a) (i) Paxil and (ii) Wellbutrin forms of anti-depressant and (b) Advair forms of asthma treatment in each year since its introduction.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Illness (10 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 26 April 2012, Official Report, columns 1039-40W, on antidepressants, what assessment he has made of the decrease in libido and other sexual problems that result from the long-term use of antidepressants.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Illness (10 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will establish an inquiry into the (a) increase in the number of prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs and (b) lack of take-up of mindfulness-based therapy for repeat episode depression; (2) what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effects and (b) cost of untreated mental illness on the severity of concurrent physical illness;…

Written Answers — Health: Mental Illness: Children (9 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 June 2012, Official Report, column 802W, on mental illness: children, how many and what proportion of children aged five to 16 suffered from clinically recognisable mental disorder in each of the last 30 years.

Written Answers — Health: Nutrition (9 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2012, Official Report, columns 807-8W, on nutrition, what proportion of the population consume more than the average recommended level of trans fats; and what effect this has on (a) mental and (b) physical health.

Written Answers — Business, Innovation and Skills: Mental Health Services (6 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications for research into mindfulness-based therapies were (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the Medical Research Council in each of the last three years.

Written Answers — Health: Stress: Long Term Unemployed People (6 July 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2012, Official Report, columns 369-439W, on mental illness, if he will fund research into assessing the levels of stress in the long-term unemployed.

Written Answers — Health: Antidepressants (26 June 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on the levels of prescribing of antidepressant drugs in other countries; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Education: Suicide (2 Feb 2012)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information his Department holds on the number of teachers who committed suicide in each year for which figures are available.

Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Job Satisfaction (12 Jan 2012)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps his Department is taking to improve wellbeing and morale among public sector workers.

Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Public Sector Stress (10 Jan 2012)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment has been made of the rates of (a) stress, (b) depression and (c) anxiety disorders among public sector workers.

Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Public Sector Morale (10 Jan 2012)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment he has made of the level of morale among public sector workers.

Written Answers — Treasury: Public Expenditure (12 May 2011)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to amend the Green Book so that national wellbeing is taken into account when evaluating Government policies and projects.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health Services (31 Jan 2011)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many patients were treated under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in each quarter of the last three years; (2) how many therapists have been trained under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in each quarter of the last three years.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health Services (31 Jan 2011)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 130W, on mental health services: manpower, what progress the Government has made on meeting its target to have 3,650 new therapy workers in place in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme by April 2011.

Written Answers — Education: Curriculum (13 Dec 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each local education authority taught lessons in (i) social and emotional aspects of learning and (ii) the UK Resilience Programme in each of the last five years.

Written Answers — Women and Equalities: Departmental Publications (22 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to her Office’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being by the Government Office for Science; if her Office will ensure that her Office takes steps to promote well-being; if she will ensure that her Office’s policy development process…

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health Services: Manpower (22 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many of the 3,600 extra therapists planned to be in place by 2010-11 under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme are in place; and if he will make a statement; (2) how many patients were treated under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11.

Written Answers — Transport: Mental Health (16 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes…

Written Answers — Wales: Departmental Publications (9 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to her Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if she will ensure that her Department takes steps to promote well-being; if she will ensure that her Department’s policy development process…

Written Answers — Home Department: Mental Health (9 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to her Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight Report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if she will ensure that her Department takes steps to promote wellbeing; if she will ensure that her Department’s policy development…

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Mental Health (9 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight Report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy…

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Mental Health (9 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development…

Written Answers — Scotland: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Well-Being by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process…

Written Answers — Northern Ireland: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process…

Written Answers — International Development: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight Report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy…

Written Answers — Justice: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes…

Written Answers — Treasury: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight Report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes…

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health (8 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing by the Government Office for Science; if he will ensure that his Department takes steps to promote wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes…

Written Answers — Education: Mental Illness (4 Nov 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to his Department of the report by the Government Office for Science, Foresight on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective well-being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Education: Departmental Responsibilities (28 Oct 2010)
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the remit is of the Children’s Rights and Participation team in the Health and Well-being Division of his Department; and how many staff were employed in that division in the last 12 months.

Written Answers — Energy and Climate Change: Departmental Publications (28 Oct 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Government Office for Science’s Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-being; if he will ensure that his Department take steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development…

Written Answers — Environment Food and Rural Affairs: Departmental Publications (28 Oct 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of recommendations relevant to her Department’s policy responsibilities contained in the Government Office for Science’s Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-being; if she will ensure that her Department takes steps to promote well-being; if she will ensure that her Department’s policy…

Written Answers — Defence: Mental Illnesses (25 Oct 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to his Department of the report by the Government Office for Science, Foresight on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective wellbeing; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Communities and Local Government: Mental Illness (21 Oct 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to his Department in the Government Office for Science’s report, Foresight on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective wellbeing; and if he will make a…

Written Answers — Culture Media and Sport: Mental Illness (21 Oct 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to his Department of the report by the Government Office for Science, Foresight on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department’s policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective wellbeing; and if he will make…

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health Services (7 Jul 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to prevent people developing mental health problems.

Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Well-being (7 Jul 2010)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will take steps to (a) promote and (b) measure general well-being during the current Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

Older Written Questions

Written Answers — Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: Mental Illness (21 Apr 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight Report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being, with particular regard to those recommendations concerning flexible working; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Mental Illness (20 Apr 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Home Department: Mental Illness (9 Mar 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to her Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight Report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if she will make a statement.

Written Answers — Transport: Commuting Times (27 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has commissioned or evaluated research on the effect of commuting times on levels of well-being.

Written Answers — Women and Equality: Mental Illness (13 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to the Government Equalities Office’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if she will make a statement.

Written Answers — Children, Schools and Families: Young People: Mental Health (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing, with particular regard to those recommendations concerning young people and adolescents; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Mental Health Services (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being, with particular reference to the costs to the benefits system of those with mental ill-health; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Innovation, Universities and Skills: Mental Illness (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Well Being, with particular regard to life-long learning policy objectives; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Energy and Climate Change: Mental Illness (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Northern Ireland: Mental Health (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — International Development: Mental Illness (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Transport: Mental Illness (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Duchy of Lancaster: Mental Illness (12 Jan 2009)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Wales: Mental Illness (18 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Culture Media and Sport: Mental Illness (18 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Defence: Mental Illness (18 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Justice: Mentally Ill (18 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what response his Department has made to those recommendations of the Foresight report into Mental Capital and Wellbeing which relate to his Department’s responsibilities; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Communities and Local Government: Mental Illness (18 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the recommendations relevant to her Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if she will make a statement.

Written Answers — Scotland: Mental Illness (17 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Illness (17 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being, with particular reference to the costs to the NHS of managing mental ill health; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Treasury: Mental Illness (16 Dec 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department’s policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-Being; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Culture Media and Sport: Quality of Life (6 Oct 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his Department’s definition of quality of life is.

Written Answers — Treasury: National Income (1 Sep 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the Exchequer of calculating the UK’s gross domestic product.
* This question, along with the others regarding costings, were asked in order to produce a rough estimate of the money required to create a national wellbeing survey.

Written Answers — Home Department: British Crime Survey (1 Sep 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual cost of conducting the British Crime Survey was in each of the last five years.

Written Answers — Children, Schools and Families: Children: Public Participation (1 Sep 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much the TellUs3 survey cost.

Written Answers — Children, Schools and Families: Teachers: Stress (1 Sep 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research his Department has conducted into the effect of stress on (a) teachers and (b) the academic performance of pupils.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health (1 Sep 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s definition of well-being is.

Written Answers — Health: Mental Health Services (22 Jul 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the NHS of treating stress-related conditions; (2) how many people were diagnosed with stress-related conditions in each of the last 10 years.

Written Answers — Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: Working Hours (22 Jul 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department’s Work-Life Balance Study cost.

Written Answers — Children, Schools and Families: Pupils: Intimidation (22 Jul 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research his Department has conducted into the effect of stress caused by bullying in schools.

Written Answers — Treasury: Occupational Health: Costs (21 Jul 2008)
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) the economy and (b) the Exchequer of stress-related illnesses in the last year.

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