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The Conservatives have announced their latest pledge to employ 10,000 more NHS mental health staff by 2020 to help diminish discrimination against those with mental health problems.
The pledged plans are driven by the concerns that vulnerable people are being subject to detention unnecessarily over the last decade, and the number of people being detained under the Mental Health Act has risen.
Jeremy Hunt appeared on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show and said: “If you have a child that has severe mental health problems and you find that that child, instead of being treated by the NHS ends up in a police cell, that is a terrible thing for a child… but is also very bad for the police as well – we want to stop that.”
Addressing the fact that many people experience mental health problems he added: “We want to stop the fact that you can lose your job for that and suffer discrimination in a way that you would not be able to suffer now if you were disabled.”
Previously, the charity Mind has called for a review of the 1983 Mental Health Act, which allows people with mental health problems to be treated against their will. The charity has reported a rise in detentions, which could be a sign of growing pressures on mental health services.
Labour’s shadow mental health minister Barbara Keeley said that the Conservatives had “not delivered on their promise to give mental health the same priority as physical health.”
She also said that “they appear to be offering no extra funding and have consistently raided mental health budgets over the last seven years.”
As well as their pledge to employ more staff and tackle discrimination, their plans would also see all primary and secondary schools in England be provided with mental health first aid training.
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