Tag Archives: mental health. norman lamb

Lib Dem Press: Tories must not neglect young people with mental illness

Responding to an official report published today revealing one in eight children and young people aged between 5 and 19 surveyed in England in 2017 had a mental disorder, former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

“These troubling figures reveal the true extent of mental health problems among children. The Conservative Government has a stark choice: either invest in services and give our children the best possible chance in life, or be responsible for the neglect of an entire generation of young people.

“Mental illness can blight the lives and futures of children without the right interventions, but today’s report by the Children’s Commissioner is a brutal reminder of how vulnerable young people too often hit a brick wall when trying to access support.

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Finding out that mental health progress was worse than we thought – one of the reasons Scottish Liberal Democrats voted against the SNP’s budget

You English were so lucky to have Norman Lamb and before him Paul Burstow as Health Ministers with mental health in their portfolios. In Scotland, we haven’t made the progress you have – even though I know that yours is nowhere near enough. We don’t have the parity between physical and mental health that Norman Lamb and Nick Clegg drove through, even in principle.

During negotiations on this year’s Scottish Budget, Willie Rennie discovered that the mental health situation in Scotland was much worse than even he had thought. He told activists yesterday at the Kickstart training day in Perth:

Look at the terrible record of this SNP Government on mental health.

They let the share of the budget spent on mental health drop by their own admission for years.

The SNP let its mental health strategy lapse in 2015 with no replacement in place.

Young people still have to wait more than a year for treatment.

It became clear during our budget discussions with them that the SNP Government is much further behind on mental health even than we feared.

The SNP were simply unable to make the changes to their budget towards what we know is important for mental health. We wanted a doubling of services for young people, comprehensive support at GP surgeries and comprehensive cover.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Norman Lamb leads thoughtful parliamentary debate on psychosis

The place in Westminster which contains most light and least heat is Westminster Hall. MPs can call a debate on whatever subject and often these turn out to be thoughtful, considered affairs where people behave like grown-ups and discuss the issues rather than throw brickbats at each other.

This week, Norman Lamb led a debate on the need for early intervention when someone has had an episode of Psychosis. In fact, it was Norman and Nick Clegg who were responsible for the introduction of a maximum two week waiting time to be seen after the first episode of Psychosis.

Introducing the debate, Norman said:

Psychosis costs the NHS £11.8 billion a year. That is a vast cost. Only 8% of people who suffer from psychosis are in work, so the cost of the illness to society is enormous. The evidence of the effectiveness of early intervention in psychosis is overwhelming. It is clear that if we intervene quickly, we can have an impact on that condition, stop it in its tracks and give sufferers the chance of a good life, which the rest of us take for granted. If we neglect the condition, those people will almost inevitably suffer lives on benefits and with difficult relationships, at—this is critical—enormous cost to the state. Analysis shows that if we invested £1 in services for early intervention in psychosis, the return on that investment over a 10-year period would be £15. We might ask, “What is the reason not to do that?” It is overwhelming common sense. It is both morally right and the economically sensible thing to do.

People suffering mental ill health, he said, must be treated to the same standard as people with physical health after the government legislated for parity of esteem. If people didn’t feel that was actually happening, they would lose trust in the Government.

And he was furious at the postcode lottery and the lack of commitment to sorting service provision out in some areas:

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