Press release

Clegg pledges £400 million to improve the mental health of the nation

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

£400 million will be invested over the next four years to improve the mental health of the nation.

The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Health Secretary of State Andrew Lansley and Care Services Minister Paul Burstow.

The No health without mental health Strategy outlines how a new emphasis on early intervention and prevention will help tackle the underlying causes of mental ill-health. It sets out how the Government will work with the NHS, local government and the third sector to help people recover and challenge stigma.

Central to the strategy will be access for anyone who needs it to modern, evidence-based psychological therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Counselling for Depression, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy, extending the current programme of offering personalised support to 3.2 million people.

The Deputy PM Nick Clegg said:

The evidence is clear: mental health needs to be addressed with the same urgency as physical health. We need to end the stigma attached to mental illness, to set an example by talking about the issue openly and candidly and ensure everyone can access the support and information they need.

The strategy today shows how we will put people at the heart of everything we do, from a new focus on early intervention to increased funding for psychological therapy, so that everyone has a fair opportunity to get their lives back on track.

At least one in four people experience a mental health problem at some point in their life and mental ill-health represents up to 23% of the total burden of ill health in the UK - the largest single cause of illness.

Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms before the age of 14 and three-quarters before their mid twenties. Depression is also the most common mental health problem in people aged over 65, with 13-16% having sufficiently severe depression to require treatment.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:

For too long mental health has been the poor relation in the NHS. Yet we know that good mental health and resilience are fundamental to our physical health, our relationships, our education, our work and to achieving our potential.

What this strategy does is ensure that modern, evidence-based therapies are available for all who need them. Working with others, the Government is determined to promote good mental health and wellbeing and challenge the stigma and discrimination that still affects so many people with mental health problems today.

With one in four of us likely to suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives, it’s not a question of them and us. Good mental health is everyone’s business.

Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley said:

Until now mental health has been in the shadow of physical health. This cross-government strategy will finally place good mental health at the heart of everything we do.

The six key aims of this strategy make clear our commitment to improving public health and wellbeing through improving mental health.

For the first time, people of all ages with mental health problems will be able to receive personalised care to reflect their own needs across the country.

The NHS will also no longer focus its attention on treatment alone - but will move towards early intervention and prevention to deliver outcomes for patients which are amongst the best in the world.