What’s happening on P-37, Tuesday 31st March?

Today was the first of the traditional morning election press conferences. Liberal Democrats hold ours in the National Liberal Club, just off Whitehall. It’s a lovely building with super views over the Thames. This morning Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb launched the party’s Manifesto for the Mind. This sets out how the party would invest £3.5 billion over the next Parliament to improve mental health service, reduce waiting times. Nick Clegg said:

Liberal Democrats believe that no matter who you are, where you come from and what your circumstances, you should not be denied the opportunity to fulfil your potential.

Yet, in Britain today, millions of people are denied the opportunity to get on and live happy, fulfilling lives because they live with mental health issues.

One in four of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our lives. And yet, for decades, mental health services have been neglected by successive governments, the poor relation of physical health problems.

That’s why in Government, the Liberal Democrats have slowly started to undo that damage.

In the coalition government’s final Budget we secured more than a billion pounds to revolutionise services for children and young people, alongside the first ever waiting times standards and a plan to roll out talking therapies across England.

But we cannot and must not rest there. Equality for people with mental health issues is a liberal mission.

As this document sets out, in Government again, we will continue to put mental health front and centre of the political debate.

That’s why I am so immensely proud that we are the first party to put equality for people with mental health problems on the front page of our full General Election manifesto.

Only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain on track and provide both a stronger economy and a fairer society with strong public services.

Only the Liberal Democrats can and will make sure mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health, with money to back that up, and challenge the stigma every day.

After that, Nick heads off to Watford for a health themed visit with candidate Dorothy Thornhill.

Then sunshine coloured battle bus heads off to Wales for the campaign launch there. He’ll be visiting a factory with Jenny Willott and Kirsty Williams.

That’ll be the Stronger Economy, Fairer Society, Opportunity for Everyone themes covered, then.

In Scotland, poor Alistair Carmichael has to visit a distillery in the Gordon constituency with Christine Jardine. I mean, it’s a tough job…. This is becoming a bit of a theme. One of the big set piece photocalls of the European election last year had him, Willie and George Lyon at another distillery.

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

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  • Tsar Nicholas 31st Mar '15 - 10:03am

    while the government makes it virtually impossible to obtain sickness benefits and cuts what other benefits remain, the idea of improving mental health is fantasy. If you are worried about paying your bills, where your next meal is coming from, you are going to be in a dark place psychologically.

  • Noticable that we seem to be focusing on women candidates at the moment – Moran, Thornhill, Willott

  • according to the BBC – “…Mr Clegg outlined his party’s health policy ahead of a grilling from The Only Way is Essex star Joey Essex…”

    This is a bit like “facing a grilling” from Bambi’s friend Thumper.

    Politics in the UK has certainly changed since David Steel was first elected as an MP.

    Whatever merits Joey Essex has he is not exactly Robin Day, is he.

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