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Extra £400m for mental health services

2 February 2011

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Mental health provision is to receive a £400 million boost from the Government in an attempt to put it on the same level as physical health, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.

In an attempt to tackle the stigma against mental health, the coalition’s new strategy is to treat it with the same priority as physical health for the first time.

The strategy will also address the need for early intervention among children, in order to tackle problems as soon as possible.

Mr Clegg said: “For far too long we’ve allowed there to be a stigma attached to mental health.

“If you speak to people in the health service they say mental health has been treated as a Cinderella service.”

But he conceded that economic stresses including unemployment could lead to rise in such problems.

Speaking ahead of the strategy launch at the Marlborough Family Education Centre in St John’s Wood, north west London, he said: “Clearly in times of anxiety and insecurity, when families and individuals have to deal with the problems of personal debt, for example, you get a lot of pressure on individuals, which is why you have to help in the best possible way.”

Mr Clegg added that the money for the new mental health strategy will not be taken from other areas of the health budget, but will be extra cash.

The money is designed to give children and young people in England better access to modern psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, if they need them.

And the Government plans to work closely with key charities, stakeholders and children to ensure the services meet their needs.

Some £8 million a year will be spent on extending access to psychological therapies to children.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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