The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will fund an extra £1 billion of mental health care by putting a penny on income tax. Approximately £6 million of this additional funding would be spent in Lewisham.

Last weekend, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron and Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb unveiled a Five Point NHS and Care Recovery Plan to increase funding for health and social care services, including a penny on income tax to provide a £6 billion funding boost.

The Liberal Democrats have now revealed that about £6 million of this extra money would be dedicated to mental health services in Lewisham.

This would help to deliver on 12 key priorities, including improving waiting time standards for mental health care on the NHS, and providing support for pregnant women and young people suffering from mental health problems.

The Liberal Democrats will also set out to end the inappropriate use of force against people with mental ill health, end out-of-area placements for mental health patients, and prioritise national action to reduce the number of suicides.

Emily Frith, the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham East, said:

“The Liberal Democrats are fighting for equality for mental health in the NHS.

“This extra funding would cut waits and increase access to care.”

John Russell, our candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, added:

“65% of Britons have experienced a mental health problem – yet neither Labour nor the Conservatives have explained how they would fund mental health services.

“The Lib Dems are different. With our 12 priorities for mental health, we have a genuine plan to help ease this national crisis.”

Bobby Dean, our candidate for Lewisham Deptford, said:

“People who suffer from mental ill health can often be ignored during election campaigns – but not by the Lib Dems.

“We realise the scale of the problem, and have designed a serious plan for tackling it. Once again, we’re providing the real opposition that this country needs.”

The Liberal Democrats’ 12 priorities for mental health in the next parliament will be as follows:

1. Access and Waiting Time Standards – We will invest in comprehensive access and waiting time standards for mental health care in the NHS.

2. Children and Young People’s Mental Health – We will tackle the growing mental health crisis among children and young people, and ensure timely access to high-quality support.

3. Eating Disorder Services – We will guarantee that children and young people struggling with an eating disorder get fast access to evidence-based treatment, close to home.

4. Maternal mental health – We will transform mental health support for pregnant women, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, and help them get early care when needed.

5. Out of Area Placements – We will end the scandal of people with mental ill health being shunted across the country because there is no support available close to home.

6. Learning Disabilities and Autism – We will ensure that people with learning disabilities and autism are treated with the same dignity, rights and respect that we would demand for anyone else.

7. Stigma and Awareness – We will build on recent progress in tackling the stigma and raising awareness of mental health issues.

8. Mental Health in the Workplace – We will ensure that employers take active responsibility for improving the mental health and wellbeing of their staff, by developing a Wellbeing Premium.

9. Back to work support – We will accelerate the roll-out of Individual Placement and Support, a proven approach to getting people with severe mental ill health back into work.

10. The Use of Force – We will end the scandalous and inappropriate use of force against people with mental ill health.

11. Suicide – We will prioritise a national ambition to dramatically reduce the number of people who take their own lives.

12. Research – We will ensure that a fair proportion of public funding for medical research is focused on research into mental health, to support the development of more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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