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MP raises mental health in Westminster

October 22, 2014 10:03 AM

Tim speaking in ParliamentSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron raised the issue of mental health in Parliament yesterday and asked the Government to ensure that young people get 'swift, clear and obvious access to mental health care'.

During health questions in the House of Commons, Tim asked: "A local report on mental health and emotional resilience among young people in South Lakeland found that the stigma surrounding mental health and the lack of sufficient resources over time, means that distressed and panic-stricken families often do not know how to begin to access the support that their children desperately need. How can my right hon. Friend help us get swift, clear and obvious access to mental health care for young people?"

Norman Lamb MP, Care Services Minister replied: "I welcome the study that has been undertaken in my hon. Friend's area. The brilliant "time to change" campaign has done an awful lot to tackle stigma in mental health. We confirmed recently that the funding for that will continue in 2015-16. I accept that we need to do much more to improve access to children's mental health services."

Over the last year Tim has called for two things - he wants to improve mental health provision locally and improve access to help and support for those who suffer from poor mental health. Tim is also launching a campaign to force the Government to provide extra funds for mental health services throughout England.

After the question period ended, Tim commented: "Mental health services are vital, but are rarely talked about. I am committed that this silence must end. Many men and women, young and old live with this silent disease and I don't want people to suffer in silence any more. I trying to do all I can to campaign to improve services, funding and provision, so that everyone gets the care and support they deserve."

The report 'Born in South Lakeland - developing emotionally resilient children' was published by Tim earlier this year to review how services operating in Cumbria could provide better support for young people. The report was researched over an eight month period by an independent panel consisting of Glenys Marriott, the former chairwoman of South Tees NHS Hospitals Trust board, sixth form student Zoe Butler, an Inspira young adviser for South Lakeland, and John Asher, leader of the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide group in the area. The teams work was recently praised by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP.

The review concluded there was a stigma around talking about a young person's mental health and that it didn't receive the same level of funding as taking care of physical health. It called on public sector staff to take personal responsibility for cases, a self-harm working group to be set up and a widening of schemes to stop young people putting themselves at risk online.