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MP challenges minister to invest in youth mental health services in Cumbria

January 30, 2022 11:12 AM

In Parliament this week, South Lakes MP Tim Farron told ministers about the poor state of mental health provision for young people in Cumbria

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate, Tim said: "When I did a survey of families in my constituency last year, we discovered that more than 50% of young people who presented with mental health conditions that needed attention waited more than three months, and 28% waited more than six months. Some 52% said their experience of that care was poor as a consequence.

"If a 15-year-old broke their leg on a football field on a Sunday afternoon, they would be seen immediately, but if something invisible breaks within one of our young people, they wait six months or more. That is intolerable anywhere, but it is fuelled by the fact that we are in a rural area that is underfunded for mental health provision."

Responding, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Maggie Throup said: "The honourable member for Westmorland and Lonsdale highlighted disparities affecting rural communities.

"He raised a number of issues specific to his constituency, and I am sure that the relevant Health Minister will be happy to meet him to discuss them in more detail."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "I'm disappointed that the minister failed to directly address this critical issue.

"However I look forward to taking her up on her offer of meeting with a health minister to discuss the urgent need to invest in mental health services here in Cumbria."