One of Nick Clegg’s first major speeches as leader of the Liberal Democrats, as Lib Dem Voice reported way back in February 2008, was on the subject of mental health, of ensuring much faster access to therapy for those affected.
In Government, he is able to put his ideas into practice, last year allocating £400 million to talking therapies. I wrote then about why I was so pleased to see that much needed investment.
Today’s Telegraph reports that half a million people have entered treatment under the Coalition’s mental health strategy.
Last night, Nick Clegg held a reception in London to support Mind’s Time to Change campaign which aims to end the stigma an d discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. This campaign has received £16 million of Government funding. Nick was joined by celebrities such as Alistair Campbell, Marcus Trescothick and Trisha Goddard, whose openness about their struggles with mental illness is helping to break down the barriers.
Nick highlighted the additional vulnerability of children suffering with mental illness:
“This is particularly important as young people suffering with a mental illness are particularly vulnerable to the stigma surrounding it. They can be bullied, marginalised, left to suffer alone, too afraid to talk about what they are going through. This is a tragedy.”
Additional coverage of the reception can be found in the Yorkshire Post.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings