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Labour signs up to “Time to Change” pledge to raise awareness on mental health

time_to_talk.jpegLabour are pledging to support Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma programme. Labour believe mental health should be given equal priority with physical health as outlined in the government’s mental health strategy implementation framework.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative group, said:

Mental health is an important part of wellbeing at work. The huge cost of mental health problems to employers is widely recognised and current estimated at £1,035 for every employee in the UK. Understanding is now growing that the fear of stigma and discrimination inhibits many employees from disclosing their problems and seeking help, keeping this cost high. This is why we are pledging to support Time to Change and making further pledges on mental health. 

Caroline Penn, Labour candidate for Hollingdean and Stanmer, was diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar last year. She welcomes the pledges:

Labour's proposals – increasing funding, better access to talking therapies and early intervention are a huge step forward in improving mental health services. Over 3,000 people a month are being treated for mental health problems in the city. We can and should do better.

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In addition to supporting Time to Change, Labour are pledging to:

  • End the scandal of mentally ill people being taken into police custody or miles away from Brighton and Hove because of a shortage of beds;

  • If elected in May Labour will appoint a Lead Councillor for Mental Health to champion the issue on the Health and Wellbeing Board and liaise with patient groups and organisations in the sector;

  • Action on early intervention and better support for mental health in young people. Ed Miliband has endorsed a mental health task force which looks at ensuring teachers are trained in mental health and all schools have access to a mental health nurse. Ed Miliband has also pledged to increase funding for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – funding which has fallen by 6 per cent under the current government;

  • Ensuring that higher risk groups, particularly the BME and LBGT communities, do not feel deterred to access mental health services, and that work is done to tackle stigma which is preventing people from getting help;

  • Ensure that everyone has access to talking therapies within 28 days.

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