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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Lib Dems will invest £3.5bn in mental health

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend £3.5bn more on mental health care in England over the next parliament. They say the  money would be spent on revolutionising children's and adult mental health care including:
  • £250m over five years for pregnant women and mums dealing with depression. This would include eight new mother and baby units providing inpatient care for pregnant women and new mums and 40 new community services helping new mums adjust to life at home with a new born. 
  • New waiting time standards for people in crisis and for conditions like bipolar disorder so that those who are ill know how long they have to wait.
  • Hundreds of thousands more people will get access to talking therapies for anxiety and depression.
The announcement comes as the party releases its 'Manifesto for the Mind'. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said: "Liberal Democrats believe that no matter who you are, where you come from and what your circumstances, you should not be denied the opportunity to fulfil your potential. Yet, in Britain today, millions of people are denied the opportunity to get on and live happy, fulfilling lives because they live with mental health issues.  One in four of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our lives. And yet, for decades, mental health services have been neglected by successive governments, the poor relation of physical health problems. That's why in Government, the Liberal Democrats have slowly started to undo that damage."

Continuing Mr Clegg said: "In the coalition government's final Budget we secured more than a billion pounds to revolutionise services for children and young people, alongside the first ever waiting times standards and a plan to roll out talking therapies across England. But we cannot and must not rest there. Equality for people with mental health issues is a liberal mission. As this document sets out, in Government again, we will continue to put mental health front and centre of the political debate.  That's why I am so immensely proud that we are the first party to put equality for people with mental health problems on the front page of our full General Election manifesto. Only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain on track and provide both a stronger economy and a fairer society with strong public services.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can and will make sure mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health, with money to back that up, and challenge the stigma every day." Nick Clegg added.