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Stars Call For Equality For Mental Health

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Written By:  Cody Griffin  3/11/10

 

He said: “Most people will know someone with a mental health issue and yet it still lags behind physical health when it comes to government spending and general public attitudes”.
We note the many comments from ministers and opinion formers acknowledging the huge cost of mental ill health not just to individuals and their families, including veterans of our armed forces, but to the economy as a whole.

The campaigners cited figures showing that mental ill-health can add cost pressures as high as £100bn per year on visits to the A&E, lost jobs, unemployment benefits, homelessness and police time. “So the moral and economic argument for a new approach is clear”.

They join fellow supporters such as former health minister Norman Lamb, comedian Ruby Wax, and Rethink CEO Mark Winstanley as they call for parity of investment and treatment for mental health conditions.

“This must be addressed”, the campaign website said.

“We urge the government to seize the opportunity to end this historic injustice and commit the investment that will lead to an economically, and socially, stronger Britain”. “In essence, it’s basically discrimination at the heart of the NHS”.

The signatories say: “We ask for the same right to timely access to evidence-based treatment as is enjoyed by those with physical health problems”. There is an acute focus, and of course the fear that opposition will attack you if you miss those targets.

House lawmakers this week will vet a bill to reform the nation’s mental health care system, an effort that has gained renewed energy after a series of mass shootings and the growing opioid addiction crisis. “I forced through the first ever maximum waiting time standards for early intervention in psychosis and access to psychological therapies, but that’s the start”.

Kennedy and several other lawmakers have voiced concerns about the House bill, which differs from the companion Senate legislation in that it would reduce certain privacy protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as incentivize states to adopt controversial assistant outpatient treatment programs, which give judges the power to mandate treatment for certain mental health disorders. And less than 11 percent of the UK’s annual secondary care health budget goes to mental health, according to the government report “Achieving better access to mental health services by 2020“, which was issued earlier this year.

“For too long mental health and mental illness have been surrounded by stigma and taboo and I will support anything that strips that away”.

The letter is the centrepiece of a wider campaign that calls for equality between mental and physical health.

The letter has also been signed by David Cameron’s former adviser, Steve Hilton, and by nine former Health Secretaries. “It is, in a way, a demonstration that the time has come for mental health and for making the case very powerfully for equality”.

“Now, I think it’s unlikely you’re going to go to a church that doesn’t have a disabled ramp or disabled access toilet, or hearing aid loop”.

Source: Rapid News Network

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