This week Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, made a speech on One Nation Mental Health to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In his speech he said mental health is ‘the biggest unaddressed health challenge of our age’ and stressed that it must be at the top of the agenda of the next Labour government. It was the first speech by a Party leader on this important issue ever. It built on the speech that Tooting MP & Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP, gave at Labour Party Conference when he announced that the next Labour government would have a Justice Minister specifically tasked to be a Mental Health Minister, bearing in mind the gross over representation of those with mental health problems in the criminal justice system.
More than 70% of those in Wandsworth prison have multiple mental health problems.
Ed Miliband addressed issues such as breaking the taboos surrounding mental health and giving greater priority to mental health in the NHS.
Springfields Hospital in Tooting provides treatment and care for over 20,000 people at any one time. The trust employs 2,500 people and the hospital has approximately 500 inpatient beds and 3,582 impatient admissions a year.
The cost of neglecting mental health is enormous. Failing to address mental illness costs the economy - untreated mental illness costs the NHS an extra £10 billion a year and costs businesses over £8bn in sickness absence alone.
One in four people will suffer a mental illness at some point during their lifetime.
By 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disease around the world.
Speaking out for mental health sufferers Tooting MP Sadiq Khan said:
“One in four of us will suffer a mental health problem at some point during our lifetime, making it the biggest unaddressed health challenge of our age.
“In Tooting we have a fantastic mental health hospital Springfield Hospital which provides treatment and care for over 20,000 people at any one time. The trust employs 2,500 people and the hospital has approximately 500 inpatient beds and 3,582 impatient admissions a year. We also have Happy Soul and the local NHS doing a good job with stretched resources.
“At a time when Government policies mean that massive reorganisation is taking place in the NHS and cuts, it’s important that Mental Health isn’t neglected. I welcome the fact that Ed MIliband is talking about this important issue.
“It is essential that we fight to put mental health at the heart of the NHS, giving it the priority it deserves, both at a national level and in Tooting.”