Let’s make the UK a better place for those with mental health challenges

 

Imagine being in a situation where you have had months of no sleep, you have lost over 15 kilos in weight when you were already under weight and you cannot do anything but ruminate over problems. You go to your GP, he gives you some shiny pills then tells you to book an appointment in a few weeks, and offers you no therapy or treatment. A few weeks later your mental health deteriorates to a point where you consider self-harm.

That was my story and I am lucky because I am here to tell it. I paid privately for treatment as the only other option was being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, which could have had devastating consequences for my financial and employment prospects. Luckily this episode is well behind me and my life has moved on to a much better place.

Sadly many cannot because they do not have the financial means, or support of family or friends to get through it. Around 4400 people end their own lives in England each year – that’s one death every two hours – and at least 10 times that number attempt suicide.

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How to help refugees in Calais

 

Some may think that this may not be the best of moments to draw attention to the refugees on our doorstep, at a time when we are fighting for Britain to remain in the EU – but I disagree.

It is inevitable that the press will now focus almost exclusively on the in/out debate, but that focus is increasingly being targeted at migrants – the leave campaign having conceded the economic argument, for the moment.

The issue of migrants from the EU is being wilfully conflated with the issue of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria and surrounding regions. But there is no correlation or causation link between the two; whether Britain stays or leaves the EU will have no impact on numbers arriving in Europe.

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Brexit’s potential impact on sport

 

There have been a number of voices over recent months hinting at the negative impact that Brexit could have on British sport. Earlier this year BBC Sport analysis suggested that 332 players in the top two divisions of English football, plus the Scottish Premiership, would be at risk by a Leave vote – a view backed up by Karen Brady from Stronger In a letter that she sent to all of the professional football teams in England, Scotland and Wales in January. Similarly, she hinted at the impact on competition and travelling fans – something relevant not just in football, but in the two rugby codes, both of which have commitments in European club competition on a regular basis – and I say that as a fan of a rugby league team that got beaten 44-16 by a team from Toulouse at the weekend!

Whilst football and rugby, with their European dimension, would be hit at professional level, it is the grassroots impact on sport that is perhaps more significant.

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Don’t forget to apply to the Conference Access Fund

This is a reminder that the Conference Office will start allocating grants from the Access fund later this week.

If you are thinking about applying, then read our post about it here and refer to the Conference Access Fund web page here.

 

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Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity

 

Each day seems to bring another installment in the ongoing sagas of the red and blue camp. Either it’s the EU referendum backbiting and divisiveness in the Tory party or the long, slow and painful fall out from Corbyn’s election and the unleashing of some rather unsavoury elements in the party.

Scandal, drama and political machination may command media attention and interest from keen political observers, but it’s another nail in the coffin for the reputation of politicians and crucially politics in the eyes of the voter.

Politics should be about improving people’s lives, creating a more harmonious society and ensuring that our country is in the best position economically both now and in the future. In a word it should be about ‘opportunity.’ Opportunity and improvement is something we all strive for and is a uniting and resonant word shared with people across classes, faiths and creeds. It’s a word that often crops up in our conference speeches, slogans and leaflets because it is a natural fit for our party, but now is the time to make it central to our message and communications.

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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #459

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 459th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (22 – 28 May, 2016), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

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LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 bestMany thanks to the 10,300 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

The Independent View: Neal Lawson’s letter to the Liberal Democrats (72 comments) by Neal Lawson

A liberal path towards a basic income (47 comments) by Richard Flowers

The dark side of Leave upsets even the Mail on Sunday (33 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Manchester Labour don’t like Leech up them (8 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Is it the BBC’s fault that Bargain Hunt is so popular? (120 comments) by Paul Walter

Why I’ve

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 30th May - 9:13pm
    @ Richard Underhill 1. Mr Cook 2. If you're patient it will be the mighty Yorkie Joe Root.
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  • User AvatarJ Dunn 30th May - 8:35pm
    It's impossible to be,... a refugee in Calais,... unless you can explain why they are seeking refuge from France.? The most humane and sensible thing...
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