The Prime Minister has recently announced a new approach to mental health based on recommendations from the Taskforce. Thousands of people with mental health conditions will be supported to find or return to work, meaning they have the opportunity to get on in life. For too long there has not been enough focus on mental health care in this country, and the Government now plans to deliver true equality between mental and physical health.
The Government is providing an extra £1 billion a year for mental health care to make sure it gets the attention it needs. This will support one million more people with mental health problems to access high quality care that they are not getting today.
Action will be taken to treat potentially debilitating mental health conditions early on through improved access to care. The Prime Minister has also met with business leaders to highlight the need for a shift in attitude to people with mental health conditions in the workplace and to agree new workplace standards.
I am pleased that the Government is implementing the first-ever mental health access and waiting time standards. This means 75 per cent of people referred for talking therapies to treat common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety will start their treatment within 6 weeks, and 95 per cent within 18 weeks. Patients experiencing psychosis for the first time must be treated within two weeks.
I support the Government's vision of a 7-day mental health service where people will get the care they need, when they need it, and will help to prevent mental illness developing in the first place.