Time to talk

Last week was ‘Time to Talk’ week run by Mind and Rethink as part of their campaign to end mental health stigma.

The Time to Talk campaign encouraged everyone to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

Ordinary people are the drivers for change – and telling people how you feel, or listening to someone, can make a huge difference.

Mental health is too important to fall off the agenda. One in four will have a mental health condition at some point in our lives – so all of us will know someone affected.

The most recent statistics for Haringey show over 8,000 people have been diagnosed with depression. The real figure is likely to be much higher.

Lib Dems will stamp out the mental health stigmaFor decades mental health was pushed aside in favour of physical health. Successive governments let the stigma continue, and none of them tried to break down the barriers to treatment.

When the Lib Dems entered Government, we were determined to change this. We’re providing £400 million more for talking therapies, £54 million for children’s mental health, and £1.2 million in staff training.

Perhaps most importantly we’re introducing ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health. This means that mental health must now be given the same priority – fixed waiting times etc – as physical health.

The stigma around mental health must end, and that’s why the Lib Dems in Government will always make sure that mental health is given the attention it deserves.

Lib Dems introduce new mental health waiting time standards

On World Mental Health Day, Lynne Featherstone MP has welcomed Nick Clegg’s ground-breaking announcement on mental health treatment in the UK.

At the Liberal Democrat conference on Wednesday, the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that treatment for mental health conditions will finally be brought into line with other NHS services, with the introduction of the first ever waiting time standards.

For the first time, from April 2015, most patients needing talking therapies – for conditions like depression – will be guaranteed the treatment they need in as little as six weeks, with a maximum wait of 18 weeks.

For many patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis, the NHS will start to provide treatment within two weeks of referral – bringing it into line with consultations for cancer.

Evidence shows that treating psychosis rapidly can dramatically improve patients’ chances of recovery and potentially save £44 million each year in hospital admissions.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Finally, thanks to the Liberal Democrats in Government, people with a mental health condition will receive the same standards of care as they would for a physical health problem.

“And it’s about time – given that at least one in four people will experience a mental health problem throughout the course of our lives.

“Mental Health treatment is rightly making its way up the agenda. I am so happy to also hear that one of our great local mental health charities, Open Door, has just been awarded two major new grants to support its work.

“We really are getting closer to equality between mental and physical health treatment!”