Havering Mind welcomes Prime Minister’s announcement of increased mental health funding

PUBLISHED: 12:46 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:49 11 January 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron gives a speech in central London where he outlined his vision for tackling poverty and improving the life chances of society's least fortunate.

Prime Minister David Cameron gives a speech in central London where he outlined his vision for tackling poverty and improving the life chances of society's least fortunate.

PA/Press Association Images

Mental health charity, Havering Mind, has welcomed David Cameron’s announcement of increased funding and calls to end the “shame and embarrassment” sufferers can feel.

The Prime Minister will announce a raft of mental health reforms in a keynote speech.

The policies have been recommended by NHS England’s independent task force on the issue, chaired by the chief executive of national charity Mind, Paul Farmer.

Mr Cameron is to tell an audience in London that one in four people will develop a problem such as depression or anxiety this year alone, and suicide is now the leading cause of death for men under 50.

“Mental illness isn’t contagious. There’s nothing to be frightened of,” he will say. “As a country, we need to be far more mature about this. Less hushed tones, less whispering; more frank and open discussion.

“We need to take away that shame, that embarrassment, let people know that they’re not in this alone, that when the clouds descend, they don’t have to suffer silently.

“I want us to be able to say to anyone who is struggling, ‘talk to someone, ask your doctor for help and we will always be there to support you’.”

Vanessa Bennett, chief executive of Havering Mind which is affiliated to national charity Mind, said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s actions about increasing funding for mental health.

“As a local charity that supports hundreds of people a year in the community, we understand the vital importance of funding mental health services, and the positive affect they can have on people’s lives.

“This plan requires the commitment at every level, from central government right through to local councils and health and wellbeing boards.”#

On Friday the Recorder launched a major mental health awareness campaign with Havering Mind called Mind Your Mental Health, which will run throughout 2016.

Through Mind Your Mental Health we aim to break down the stigma that persists and share advice for analysing and improving the wellbeing of our community.

Ms Bennett added: “We are delighted to be involved with the Mind Your Mental Health campaign at such an important time where mental health is becoming a more talked about issue.”

The measures sue to be announced are:

n £290 million to be spent by 2020 helping 30,000 more new and expectant mums with poor mental health through perinatal classes, community teams and extra beds in mother and baby units. One in five new mothers develop a problem around the time of the birth of their child.

n A £247 million injection over the next five years to embed mental health services in every hospital emergency department. Half of England’s acute hospitals should have these services available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by 2020.

n Services will be expanded to ensure faster treatment for teenagers with eating disorders such as anorexia, and from 2017/18 a new waiting time measure will track the proportion of patients being seen within a month of referral, or within a week for urgent cases.

n A new waiting time target from April so that at least half of those experiencing psychosis for the first time must be treated within two weeks, rising to at least 60% by 2020.

n A £400 investment in crisis resolution and home treatment teams to operate 24 hours a day as an alternative to hospitals.

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