This week, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced plans to improve mental health services and recruit 21,000 new mental health workers.
The Government has committed to investing £1.3 billion to transform mental health services, with the aim of being able to treat an extra one million people by 2021.
This money will go towards providing a 24/7 service, which will integrate mental and physical health services for the first time. The plan also seeks to increase the number of professionals working in child and adolescent mental health services, the number of nurses working in crisis care settings and the number of therapists providing adult talking therapies.
I welcome this announcement, which will go a long way to improving services available to those people suffering with mental health problems.
Here in Dartford we have comprehensive mental health services in place with committed and dedicated staff, but it is not enough and more must be done to ensure everyone has access to the appropriate care when they need it.
Over recent decades, governments from all political parties, have struggled to get to grips with providing adequate mental health services, but I hope this investment and commitment will go a long way to improving things in future.
There is now a much greater understanding and appreciation of how mental health problems affect people at all stages of life and the care that needs to be available.
I hope this ambitious expansion of such a vital service will help everyone get the right treatment when they need it most.