New Lib Dem initiatives on mental health

Norman Lamb is no stranger to these pages writing about all aspects of his job as health minister. It’s been great to see how he’s done so much to improve mental health services and he acknowledges that there is a long way to go to get services to where they need to be.

It’s not just within government that Liberal Democrats are acting, though. I’ve become aware of two initiatives from around the country where we are trying to advance policy or campaign for better services. You may  know about more so please add them in the comments.

The first comes from Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron who has set up a group to review mental health services, particularly for young people, in his Cumbrian constituency. He’s assembled local experts, who will meet for the first time on 11th November, to have a look at what’s available and what needs to happen locally. The group is urging the public and frontline professionals to share their stories and have asked people to email at  or timATtimfarronDOTcoDOTuk.

Tim said:

I regularly hear from constituents who have major problems with mental health services or people who don’t get the support they need.  Some of the worst cases are the ones that affect young people – I am committed to try and do whatever we can to make it better.  I hope that this review group will help us tackle those challenges and lay out a plan to improve services for young people and tackle the issues of funding and provision, so that everyone gets the care and support they deserve.

I am asking young people with experiences of mental health services, staff and parents to please do get in touch with us. We want to make the service better and I hope with the community’s help we can.

Meanwhile in Scotland, a new Scottish Liberal Democrat Mental Health group is in the process of being established. The first informal meeting takes place tonight by Google hangout. This is a follow-up to the powerful and moving debate on mental health we had at our Conference in Dundee this Spring. I wrote about it here and here.  The new group wants to work on both running campaigns and developing policy. If you are a Scottish Liberal Democrat member and you want to take part, let me know by emailing me at caronsmusingsATgooglemailDOTcom.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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2 Comments

  • I think this is really the right way to bring together policymaking, practitioners and people.

  • Stephen Donnelly 2nd Nov '13 - 12:24pm

    It seems to me that Norman Lamb is doing a reasonable job within a very limited brief. As the Liberal in the Department of Health he is having remarkably little influence on the Conservatives outside of his areas of special interest. Take for instance Hunt’s recent comments on access to the Health Service by immigrants. Jeremy Brown was allegedly sacked for failing to prevent the ‘go home poster vans.

    I am embarrassed to be associated with the coalition’s record on the NHS.

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