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Lib Dems call for equality between mental and physical health care

April 1, 2014 1:28 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats are to lead calls for the ScottishJim HumeJim Hume Government to enshrine in law equality between mental and physical health care.

In an opposition debate in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Liberal Democrats will argue that the move would bring mental health out of the shadows where it has for too long been seen as a Cinderella service. Liberal Democrats in the UK Government have already achieved this.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for children and young people Liam McArthur MSP will both speak in the debate, in a demonstration of how mental health care affects the whole of society.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Hume said:

"It is unacceptable that mental health issues remain a faint blip on the radar of Scotland's health care priorities. One in four adults will experience mental ill health in their lifetime.
"The stigma attached to mental health issues means that our friends and loved ones are told to "man up" when instead we should be pointing them in the direction of support. A postcode lottery in access to crucial psychological therapies means that 40 percent of patients in NHS Forth Valley waited longer than 18 weeks for psychological therapy compared to 10 percent of patients in NHS Glasgow and Clyde. We need equality between mental and physical health care enshrined in law.

"Individuals and families across Scotland will not be surprised to hear that mental ill health is now the dominant health problem for people of working age. But they should not have to suffer in silence. Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to building a fairer society by bringing mental health out of the shadows and that's what we will be urging the Scottish Government to do in today's debate."