As part of the Sunday Express's Crusade for Better Mental Health, Labour leader ED
d Milliband has called for the constitution of the NHS to be rewritten so that Mental Health is treated as seriously as Physical Health. he said that the last Labour government had failed to realise the scale of the challenge and that Patients should now be given new rights to "Talking Therapies". He went on to say, "It is very troubling that, for the first time in a decade we have seen a cut in total mental health, a reduction of £150m including costs and outreach services. The current constitution gives patients the rights to drugs and medical treatments for mental health problems but it does not give them the right to therapies We should create a new right to psychological therapies that help people recover from conditions like anxiety and depression.
He added that " We have already put the nation's mental health and wellbeing at the very heart of our policy. That is why for the first time we have required the NHS to give equal status to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of both physical and mental illness - something made law this year.
Ted Jeory, Whitehall Editor said that he was present when Ed Milliband gave a groundbreaking speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He committed to put attitudes to mental health on a par to physical health. In his speech, he pledged to help break one of Britain's biggest taboos, the stigma still attached to mental health. " I want to get to a point where it is not "brave" to talk openly about mental illness but where it is a case of 'so what' ", he said. In doind so, he joined Nick Clegg to make this issue a political priority. ***
In the meantime, the poor service users go on hoping for these bold words to be turned into action and, as usual, they remain pessimissitic about their menatl illness being used as other than a political football. All we can do is pray for leadership into positive change and improvements to our 'Cinderella' service. R. W.