One in four of us will suffer from mental health problems during the course of our lifetimes, however there is often stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health.
Parity of Esteem
For too long mental health services have been underfunded and neglected. Mental ill-health accounts for nearly a quarter of ill-health in our country (23%), yet only £1 in every £9 of NHS spending goes to specialist mental health services. Julian and the Liberal Democrats in Government have fought to end this discrimination.
In Government, the Liberal Democrats have:
- Invested £400 million to give people suffering from mental ill-health access to talking and psychological therapies early on in their care.
- Begun introducing maximum waiting time standards for the first time from April 2015, with plan to continue rolling out comprehensive standards over the next five years.
- Transformed mental health crisis care, ensuring peole can get urgent help when they need it with the introduction of the Crisis Care Concordat.
- Invested £150 million to provide additional care for those suffering from Eating Disorders
- Announced the spending of an additional £1.25 billion on Children's Mental Health
However, things are nothing like good enough, and we want to go further. Our Mental Health Action Plan sets our priorities for essential change in mental health, including:
- Choice in mental health: giving people the same choice for their mental healthcare as they have for their physical health.
- Liasion and Diversion: committing £25m for a scheme that identifies health issues of offenders when they enter the criminal justice system.
- Restraint: investing £1.2m in staff training in order to reduce harmful restrictive practices.
- Access to therapies: investing over £400m to give thousands of people access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
- Time to Change: Funding the Time to Change campaign, which challenges mental health stigma and discrimination.
- Tackling Mental Health’s Biggest Killer: £150m investment to radically reform the treatment of children and young people with eating disorders.
Fighting for Cambridge
We need to transform mental health care in Cambridge too, improving mental health services for young people, further rolling out waiting times for more services, and improving mental wellbeing in the workplace. But we have one of the lowest levels of funding for mental health in the country - largely because under the last government’s funding formula we got less money for healthcare than almost anywhere else. I want us to get our fair share - and the Government’s own calculations show that would give us an extra £35 million each year.
Julian said: “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. I am proud to stand up for mental health - join me so we get the mental healthcare we need and deserve."
Lend your voice to Julian's campaign by signing the petition below!
We the undersigned support the Cambridge Liberal Democrat campaign for more investment in mental health services.