Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to make mental health a priority in a future Labour government and has challenged the Conservatives to make parity of esteem with physical health a reality.

In his conference speech, Corbyn directly addressed the issue, saying: “We are going to make mental health a real priority. It’s an issue for all of us. Every one of us can have a mental health problem, so let’s end the stigma, end the discrimination.

“And with Luciana Berger, our Shadow Minister for Mental Health, I’m going to challenge the Tories to make parity of esteem for mental health a reality not a slogan.”

While not revealing any specific policies or initiatives on mental health, Corbyn also pledged increased funding for mental health services, especially for for children and young people. “Three quarters of chronic mental health problems start before the age of 18,” he said. “Yet only a quarter of those young people get the help they need.

“All our work on policy will be underpinned by Labour’s values. End the stigma, end the discrimination, treat people with mental health conditions as you would wish to be treated yourself. That’s our pledge.”