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Mind welcomes Miliband’s call to improve nation’s mental health services

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 Mind

Paul Farmer responds to the prominent mention of mental health provision in Ed Miliband's Labour Party Conference speech

In his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference today (Tuesday 24 September), Ed Miliband made a point of highlighting the need for Britain to address the stigma and under-investment in the nation’s mental health.

Responding to this, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

"It is a defining feature of Ed Miliband’s speech today that he chose to put mental health front and centre when outlining his vision for the future of our health services. Many people will feel his description of mental health as ‘an afterthought’ and something that has been ‘swept under the carpet’ rings all too true. 

From Mind’s own research we know that the recession, poor job market and major upheavals in the welfare system have all had an impact on the mental health of the nation. This, in turn, has caused a demand on mental health services that cannot be ignored any more. In the lead up to the next General Election we want to see mental health where it belongs, at the heart of the manifestos for all parties."

Below is a transcript of Ed Miliband talking about mental health at the Labour Party Conference, Tuesday 24 September 2013:

"Nowhere do we need to put the values of the British people back at the heart of our country than in the NHS, the greatest institution of our country. I had a letter from a 17 year old girl suffering from depression and anxiety. She told me a heart-breaking story of how she ended up in hospital for 10 weeks.

Mental health is a truly one nation problem: it affects rich and poor, young and old alike. And let's be frank, in the privacy of this room, we've swept it under the carpet. It's a very British thing. We've got to change that.

It's an afterthought in our National Health Service.

How are you going to make it work? Here's the thing, the 17-year-old said in that letter, “If someone had actually identified the problem when it started 3 years earlier, I wouldn't have ended up in hospital and costing the state.” It's about the early identification."

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