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Mental Health

Volume 593: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2015

I feel no sense of tedium but almost a state of ecstasy upon calling the right hon. Gentleman. If I gave any other impression, I most heartily apologise to him. I hope that he is now assured of his status in the affections of the Chair, if, possibly, also of the House? There might have to be a Division on that proposition. I do not know.

I am so grateful to be reassured, Mr Speaker.

Mental health is a priority for this Government. We have legislated for parity of esteem between mental and physical health, invested £400 million in talking therapies, significantly reduced the numbers of people who are placed in police cells during mental health crises and are introducing the first waiting times standards for mental health services from April this year.

I recently met a constituent at one of my advice surgeries who had been refused NHS mental health care because she was told that she was entitled to only one batch of free support. Considering how complicated and varied mental health issues can be, is there anything we can do for people who need more support after a relapse of mental ill health?

If that was the advice the hon. Lady’s constituent received, it is complete and utter nonsense. The idea that someone can have only one episode of care under the NHS is so ridiculous that it hardly merits a proper response. I urge her to encourage her constituent, with her support, to go back to those local services and ensure that she gets further support if she needs it, as she is entitled to it.