Q&A: Mental health
How many people are affected by mental health problems?
1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and only one quarter of these people get treatment, which is mostly in the form on medication. 2.3 million people with a mental health condition are out of work and mental health conditions are the primary reason for claiming health related benefits.
What is the Lib Dem policy on mental health?
The Liberal Democrats would continue to work to deliver real parity of esteem for mental health in the NHS. We will prioritise talking therapies and continue to introduce access and waiting time standards for mental health treatment. We want to integrate mental health and physical health services and change the way that mental health is funded – removing block contracts and replacing them with performance based payment mechanisms.
We will also put £250 million into care for pregnant women and news mums affected by depression.
How long will people have to wait for mental health treatment?
The Liberal Democrats want to improve the waiting time standards for mental health which we introduced so that no one suffering from depression or anxiety will wait more than 6 weeks for therapy. We will ensure that all young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis receive treatment within two weeks. We want all hospital trusts to have an evidence based, high quality mental health crisis service for all ages in A&E departments.
How will the Lib Dems improve mental health research?
We would establish a Mental Health Research Fund with the aim of funding cutting edge research to further our understanding of both the causes of mental illness and the most effective treatments. We would bring together a group of independent experts and academics to help develop a mental health research strategy and the findings would be communicated to health commissioners.