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The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will this morning deliver a speech in which he will launch a 25 point Action Plan for mental health. The plan follows the Mental Health Strategy launched in 2011 and sets out the key mental health priorities for government over the next 15 months.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“It is welcome and important to see renewed commitment from government on mental health. The Action Plan clearly sets out what the government will achieve before the election, to start to deliver some of the longer term goals outlined in the 2011 Mental Health Strategy.
“We are pleased to see a clear focus on giving mental health and physical health equal priority, and continued recognition that mental health goes way beyond the responsibility of the NHS. We also welcome the promises to introduce proper choice for people with mental health problems in the NHS services they access and waiting time targets for accessing treatment. These measures will help make sure people get the help they need when they need it.
“This plan will require a step change in the approach to mental health both in the NHS and beyond.
“It comes at a time when NHS mental health services are under enormous pressure. Funding for NHS mental health services has been cut for two consecutive years and, with no room for belt-tightening in an already underfunded service, the impact on patient care has been dramatic. The reality for many people with mental health problems right now is long waits for talking treatments and long trips across the country to find a bed when they are in crisis. We are also seeing a concerning increase in suicides and a particularly alarming rise in suicides among people already in touch with mental health services.
“The government must not underestimate the scale of the challenge it faces and needs to ensure that adequate resources are available to make these bold aims a reality.
“On the day that we launch our new TV advertisement for our campaign Time to Change, which we run in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness, it is also good to see the Government support our call to end mental health discrimination. We are determined to get the nation talking about mental health and to achieve a shift in public attitudes so that in future no one will have to face a mental health problem alone.”
Public Mental Health