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Mental Health Service Provision – Lib Dems Say This is More Important Than Ever!

November 23, 2016 3:04 PM
norman lambLDV

Norman Lamb - former Health Minister under The Coalition

It may well be true that mental illness causes a greater amount of disruption and misery than physical illness. Not only are the unfortunate patients deeply unhappy - to the extent that some are driven to suicide - but so are their family and friends.
Then there can often be wider effects affecting society, particularly if substance abuse is involved. All too often patients can fall prey to criminals who exploit and profit from their predicament.
Sadly, society never seems to realise that more resources are needed to treat mental illness. Most obviously we should seek to relieve the sufferings of the patients themselves, but also we should understand that better treatment facilities will not only reduce unhappiness, social problems and crime. In the long run it will help patients become happier and more productive, give them better lives and save us all money.
Here in Hertfordshire we participated in an awareness-raising campaign - a hangover from the initiatives of Coalition Government - and the Hertfordshire Year of Mental Health finished at the end of July.
Over 650 mental health advocates have been trained across the County and every local authority in Hertfordshire now has at least one councillor as a Mental Health Champion.
This is good.
Even better however, would it be if the present government restored the principle established by the Liberal Democrat Minister for Health, Norman Lamb. When in government he made it a rule that there should be "parity of esteem" across the NHS between physical and mental illness. Both had to be taken seriously to the same extent, patients' treatments to be equally accessible and both with a similar level of facilities.

"Bring back Norman Lamb!" we say.