In response to the Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons today on Mental Health Services in Cambridgeshire, Daniel Zeichner, Cambridge Labour Parliamentary Candidate says:

I welcome this opportunity to highlight the challenges facing mental health services in Cambridgeshire and across the country. Sadly, our mental health system is failing at a time when it should be being made a greater priority. The coalition has been strong on rhetoric about improving mental health services, but the reality on the ground is very different. Earlier this year in Cambridge, service users had to occupy buildings for months to win a reprieve for life-changing services at Lifeworks.

It is now a legal requirement for the Health Secretary to address the current disparity between physical and mental health in the NHS but it took Jeremy Hunt one year and five months to visit a mental health service. Data obtained through a Freedom of Information survey showed that in their first year, Clinical Commissioning Groups spent an average of 10 per cent of their annual budgets on mental health, despite mental illness accounting for 23% of the national burden of disease. This shows just how much further there is to go in making mental health a priority.

We must change the status of mental health, not just in our National Health Service, but just as importantly, in our wider society. Good mental health doesn’t start in hospital or the treatment room; it starts in our workplaces, our schools and our communities. This is why mental health will be a top priority for the next Labour government.

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