One in four people in this country will suffer a mental health problem this year. If that seems like a startling statistic, it’s probably because there is still a stigma around mental health which means it does not get talked about in the same way we talk about physical health.
Mental health has long been the Cinderella service of the NHS – there has been in-built discrimination and I think that’s partly because there is still a stigma surrounding it which we must get over as a country.
It’s one of the reasons the Liberal Democrats and want all children to learn about mental as well as physical health in the classroom - to ensure young people at risk of mental health problems get early access to the help they need.
It was the Liberal Democrats in government who established the first ever standards for mental health waiting times. We also increased access to talking therapies and set out clear standards for crisis care.
To totally end discrimination, the standards of care need to be the same for somebody suffering with, say, an eating disorder as someone suffering from a physical disease.
That’s why the Liberal Democrats are the only party with a plan to spend a further £500m per year on mental health in the next Parliament which will ensure we can continue the progress we have made in this one, including investing in the changes needed particularly for services for children and young people.
The Lib Dems are the only party to put a commitment to mental health front and centre at the 2015 General Election.