A report highlighting the need for improved mental health care provision was welcomed today by UKIP Health spokesman Louise Bours.
In her annual report England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has said that mental health needs to be more of a priority and has warned that there were signs funding was being cut at a time when the cost to the economy was rising.
“Because it is often an invisible illness it tends to be overlooked and treated less seriously than physical ill health. But Dame Sally is quite right to say it needs to be given a greater priority,” said Ms Bours, North West MEP.
“Yes the NHS is being financially squeezed from all sides but mental health services must be given their fair share of the budget. Figures show it accounts for 13% of the budget despite causing 28% of illness.
“This annual report shows that mental illness led to the loss of 70 million working days last year. That’s up 24% since 2009 and in terms of lost productivity, benefit payments and absence from work it costs the economy between £70bn and £100bn.
“That alone should make the government sit up and think. But I am concerned for the actual people suffering mental health problems, which is a terrible debilitating illness which affects the whole family not just the sufferer.
“Like all illness, early intervention is important, and can help the situation getting far worse. Three quarters of adults with mental health problems develop them by the age of 18 and that is too many lives blighted when swift help is absent.
“It must no longer be treated like the poor relative left ignored in the corner and I hope that Dame Sally’s recommendations are put into operation and not like the subject itself swept under the carpet.”