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Coalition calls for mental health champion

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A coalition of seven leading health organisations has called for the Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet champion for mental health.

‘A New Vision for Mental Health, from the Future Vision Coalition’ aims to put mental wellbeing at the centre of public policy and to improve the quality of life of people with mental health problems. It calls for action to identify children at risk of mental illness for targeted support and for mental health services to help people get their lives back, not just manage their illnesses.

It enforces that mental wellbeing is the business of the whole of the government, not just the Department of Health. A champion would ensure that all departments in the Cabinet are working together to improve mental health and to make sure the voices of those with mental health issues are heard at the centre of government.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: ‘The amount of money currently spent on promoting good mental health is completely inadequate, considering the huge impact poor mental health can have on individuals’ life and work. The government needs to readdress its priorities and treat mental health promotion with the same urgency, and financial commitment, it does physical health problems such as obesity and smoking.’

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