MP Julian Huppert is calling on the government to invest an extra £500 million a year in mental health to get a fairer deal for patients.
He launched a petition on Saturday (December 6) on the Liberal Democrat stall at Cambridge’s Mill Road Winter Fair in a bid to get the government to do more to address the decades of neglect in mental health funding.
And during the event the Lib Dems raised money for Centre 33 – the charity which offers help to young people with their problems - with a children’s lucky dip.
Julian said: “One in four of us will experience mental health problems at some time in our lives and yet only £1 in every £9 of NHS spending is on specialist mental health services.
“Mental health has been neglected by consecutive governments but we are changing that. We have written into law equality for mental health with physical health and we are introducing the first ever waiting time standards for mental health.
“We also need more research to find better treatments and we need to end the stigma around mental health.”
Juliet Snell, Centre 33’s Director said: “It is really great that the Liberal Democrats will be supporting the work of Centre 33 on their stall at this year’s Mill Road Winter Fair where they will also be calling for the government to put more funding into mental health services.
“Centre 33 provides free and confidential mental health and counselling services for young people locally. No matter how big or how small the problem we’re here to help. Our team are used to talking to young people about all sorts of issues, whatever it is, it’s always OK and safe to talk about it with Centre 33. Details will be available on the Liberal Democrat stall or you can visit our website at www.centre33.org.uk.”
Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Ed Cearns, who represents Cambridge’s Market ward said: “We want the government to put more money into mental health so that we can address the years of underfunding.
“We want to transform mental health care so that people get the help they need. An extra £500 million year on year could make a real difference to treatments and research.
"I'm pleased that as well as raising awareness we will be raising money for a fantastic local charity."