Improve Mental Health Services


One in four of us will experience mental health problems like depression at some point in our lives. For decades mental health has been the last in the queue when it comes to funding and attention.

The Liberal Democrats are ending that discrimination and are introducing the first ever waiting time standards from April.

Mental health problems cost the country as much as £100bn each year yet as few as a quarter of people with depression get access to treatment. Mental health represents nearly a quarter of ill health in our country (23%) but only £1 in every £9 the NHS spends is on specialist mental health services. Better care for mental health is a key factor in building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Nick Clegg MP said, "Labour introduced waiting time targets in the NHS, but they left out mental health. They introduced choice of hospital. But they left out mental health. They designed a funding scheme to pay hospitals by the activity they do. But they left out mental health – which has left it at the back of the queue for funding. For too long mental health has been left out."

"In 2010, we called a halt to this and wrote equality for mental health into law. We are now making real progress: introducing the first ever waiting time standards in mental health from next year. But there is a long way to go. That’s why the Liberal Democrats will put mental health on the front page of our manifesto for the next election. It’s why we are pledging an extra £1bn for the NHS in each year of the next parliament with half a billion a year dedicated to improving mental health care."

The Lib Dem mental health action plan sets out our priorities for essential change in mental health, including:

  1. Making sure no one experiencing a mental health is ever turned away from services
  2. Investing £54m in order to improve access to mental health care for children.
  3. Committing £25m to a scheme that identifies health issues with offenders when they enter the criminal justice system.
  4. Tackling mental health’s biggest killer with £150m invested in radically reforming the the treatment of children and young people with eating disorders.

We the undersigned call for an extra £500m investment in mental health per year

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