Lib Dems would invest £11bn to put mental and physical health on equal footing


The Liberal Democrats would invest £11billion into mental health and treat it as seriously as physical complaints.

The party has pledged to invest in child and teenage mental health services and wants to match waiting times with physical condition.

They have said they will tax an extra penny in the Pound to fund it.

The party’s health spokeswoman Luciana Berger said it would provide “a solid framework to improving the prospects of those with severe mental ill-health for generations to come”.

The party, which has so far campaigned on anti-Brexit lines, has repeated its promise to put an extra penny on the pound of income tax to pay for the NHS- a long term Lib Dem policy resurrected by their leader but one Tim Farron.


Mental health treatment is often described as a postcode lottery because waiting times for psychological therapy vary from 16 days in Waltham Forest, to 176 days in Leicester. 
 
One in 10 consultant psychiatric roles are unfilled, and people with severe mental illness die on average 15-20 years earlier than the rest of the general population. 

The Lib Dems want to match waiting time standards to those in physical health and expand the mental health workforce.

They also want to put more funding into helping young people leaving care and other vulnerable groups.

Luciana Berger said: “Our country is in the grip of a mental health crisis, with more and more people desperately seeking support, and being let down by the underfunded services on offer.

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General election 2019

Liberal Democrats want to achieve real equality between mental and physical health and have announced ambitious plans to do so.

 

“Focusing on our country’s young people, and those who have had a difficult start in life, will provide a solid framework to improving the prospects of those with severe mental ill-health for generations to come.

“Drastically reducing waiting times, by providing proper funding to our services will ensure that no one has to travel long distances to access treatment. Removing prescription costs for those with chronic mental health conditions, shows how seriously we as a party take mental health.

“Liberal Democrats want to build a brighter future and giving our population the support that it needs to do that is at the top of our agenda.

“We want to break down the barriers of stigma and shame, which leave those suffering, alienated and isolated, and we want to make the UK a world leader in keeping our nation well with our push for greater emphasis on wellbeing.”





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