The Deputy Prime Minister will pledge to bring mental health issues out of the shadows and to improve standards of treatment in his upcoming speech. The Mental Health Action Plan has set out 25 areas that require immediate action to improve treatment, care and support.
In Mr Clegg’s speech he will say that people need to change their attitudes towards mental health. An example of the nation’s current attitude was typified when England Cricketer, Jonathan Trott was told “winners don’t quit” and to “pull yourself together” when he returned home from the Ashes tour due to a stress-related condition.
“No-one would have said those things if Jonathan Trott had broken his wrist, but it’s typical of the different ways we treat physical and mental health. It’s damaging and unhelpful.” – Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg also points out that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life and that as a society, we need to accept that. The Lib Dem leader will tell a conference of mental health experts that waiting times for mental health services are too long and that it is time to give those with mental health issues the support they need.
A campaign called Time to Talk led by the Time to Change programme is set to be launched across Britain in a bid to help people talk openly about mental health. This February 6 will also be the first ever Time to Talk Day, when it is hoped that national awareness will be raised.
According to a survey of 5,000 people with mental health issues, one in three experience discrimination on a monthly or even weekly basis. The problem of having to cope with stigma from friends is estimated to affect 61% of people.