Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will be holding two Facebook Q&A sessions with the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
Mr Clegg’s first ever Facebook Q&A will be hosted by Mind’s Facebook page on Monday 24 November at 12:30pm.
Mind’s supporters will be given the opportunity to put their questions and concerns about the Government’s policies on mental health to the Deputy Prime Minister during the 30 minute Facebook exchange.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
“At least one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lives. And yet, relatives and friends needing a hip operation can expect treatment quicker than someone with a debilitating mental health condition. We’re putting this right. I've set in place a new five year plan to end years of imbalance between mental and physical healthcare services. This isn't about Whitehall leading the way - a crucial part of getting treatment and care right for people living with mental health issues is listening to what they need.
This week I met with staff and service users at one of South London and Maudsley's community care centres and I'm looking forward to hearing from more people about their experiences, face to face or on Facebook. I want to encourage people to speak up and tell me what work needs to be done to make sure mental health patients waiting far too long for treatment is a thing of the past.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “This is a unique opportunity for people with mental health problems from all over the country to ask the Deputy Prime Minister directly about the issues they care about. We truly believe that the voices of those with experience are the most powerful, and it’s important that our politicians listen.”
“The Government has recently introduced a range of important mental health policies such as the proposals for bringing in new access standards and waiting times and making a commitment to achieve parity with physical health services. This is people’s chance to give their thoughts on these developments.”
“This is the first time that Mind has hosted a session like this. As a charity that campaigns for better services and support for people with mental health problems, we often invite our members and campaigners to meet with key politicians in person to share their experiences and ask questions. This is a virtual version of that experience and offers the opportunity for many more people to have their say through social media. We encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”
The charity Rethink Mental Illness will host a second Q&A session with the Deputy Prime Minister two weeks later on Monday 8 December. Mind runs the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change in partnership with Rethink mental Illness.
To join in the Facebook Q&A session hosted by Mind visit www.facebook.com/mindforbettermentalhealth at 12:30pm on Monday 24 November.