Jim Hume, Lib Dem MSP for South Scotland and party health spokesperson has today thrown his weight behind a new campaign that is seeking to boost mental health services across the UK.
The Equality for Mental Health campaign is an initiative led by Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Norman Lamb, working together with Alastair Campbell and Andrew Mitchell, which calls for the Government to improve mental healthcare.
More than 200 leaders from politics, business, the arts, sport and faith groups have signed an open letter calling on the UK Government to end the “historic injustice suffered by those who have mental ill health”.
The open letter highlights 10 major concerns, including lack of access to treatment, long waiting times and a 20 year gap in life expectancy between those with mental health problems and the rest of the population.
Scottish signatories of the open letter include Annie Lennox, Sir Tom Hunter and Rory Bremner.
Commenting Jim Hume MSP said:
“This is a hugely important campaign. Lib Dems in government helped push mental health up the agenda but there is still a great deal of work to be done.
“This letter calls for action from the UK government but we need to see action from ministers in Scotland too. Lack of access to treatment and long waiting times remain huge problems. We have seen reports of vulnerable young people being forced to wait more than a year for crucial mental health treatments. This is simply not good enough.”
Fellow Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb MP added:
“I wanted to see if we could get together a stellar list of leaders from across society to come together to call for equality for those who suffer mental ill health. We have been amazed by the response. Virtually everyone we have asked, agreed to sign. Now we must build a movement across the country demanding an end to this historic injustice.”
Notes to Editors:
The full text of the open letter and details of signatories are available at http://equality4mentalhealth.uk/