Lib Dems announce £1bn of funding to transform mental health care

The Liberal Democrats have announced that £1 billion of the party's additional health funding would be spent tackling the "historic injustice" faced by people with mental ill health.


Last weekend, Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron, and Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb, unveiled a Five Point NHS and Care Recovery Plan to increase funding for health and social care services, including a penny on income tax to provide a £6 billion funding boost.


Today the Liberal Democrats announced that £1 billion of this extra money would be ring-fenced as dedicated funding for mental health services.


This would help to deliver on 12 key priorities, including improving waiting time standards for mental health care on the NHS and providing support for pregnant women and young people suffering from mental health problems.


The Liberal Democrats will also set out to end the inappropriate use of force against people with mental ill health, end out-of-area placements for mental health patients and prioritise national action to reduce the number of suicides.


Elaine Bagshaw, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Poplar and Limehouse said:


“Every Mental Health Awareness week, we are reminded that one in four people experiences a mental health problem each year. Newer studies indicate that two in three adults experience mental ill health at some point in their lives.


“This Mental Health Awareness week. I want us to look beyond the numbers of who is and who isn’t affected; it would sound ridiculous to claim that only one in four people gets ill each year. Each of us experiences changing mental health through our lives, even though we won’t all seek professional treatment.


“Today I’m calling on us to take mental health seriously: the Liberal Democrats would invest an extra £1bn per year on transforming mental health services in our country, but we also need to lose the stigma that some of us are affected by poor mental health while others are unaffected.”


Commenting on the plan, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb, said:


“The Liberal Democrats are committed to ending the historic injustice against people with mental ill health.


"Under the Conservative government, services have been stretched to breaking point at a time when the prevalence of mental ill health appears to be rising.


“Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have outlined how they will fund mental health services. We’ve made it clear that our priorities will be funded from our ambitious plan to inject £6bn a year into the NHS with an additional penny on income tax.


"We will invest in improving waiting time standards for mental health care in the NHS, end the scandalous use of force against people with mental ill health and prioritise national action to dramatically reduce the number of people who take their own lives.


“The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservatives, and the only party fighting for genuine equality for those who suffer from mental ill health.”

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