Gordon Birtwistle welcomed Health Minister Norman Lamb to Burnley on Thursday, taking him to visit Healthy Minds in Gannow, Carers Link and Burnley General Hospital.
Norman Lamb is the Health Minister in charge of Mental Health services and visited to highlight the improvements he is fronting as the Liberal Democrats seek to give mental health services as much emphasis as physical health. For years it has been the norm for anyone suffering from a serious physical illness such as cancer to be given an appointment within a set period of time. However, someone suffering from even a serious mental health condition has had no similar rights. This is set to change.
The new mental health action plan sets out our priorities for essential change in mental health, including:
- Crisis Care Concordat: Making sure no one experiencing mental health crisis is ever turned away from services.
- Choice in Mental Health: Giving people the same choice for their mental healthcare as they do for their physical health.
- Liaison and Diversion: Committed £25m for a scheme that identifies health issues offenders when they enter the criminal justice system.
- Restraint: Investing £1.2m in staff training in order to reduce harmful restrictive practices.
- IAPT: Investing over £400m to give thousands of people access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
- Children's mental health: Investing £54m in order to improve access to mental health care for children.
- Time to Change: Funding the Time to Change campaign, which challenges mental health stigma and discrimination.
"Many of us will have to deal with mental health issues directly or indirectly at some time," Gordon said, "It is high time that our mental health services were brought into line with the rest of our health service to reflect this. The new plans being put into place will make a real difference for so many people who need care and support today and into the future."