[Mr. Bill Olner in the Chair] — Mental Health

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 17th April 2007.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury) 9:30 am, 17th April 2007

As it happens, the case to which I referred was more acute and therapy would probably not have been beneficial, but the hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct. I shall devote a substantial chunk of my comments to what has become known as the Layard plan, which is designed to build psychotherapy up to be a more central part of mental health treatment. The hon. Gentleman is right to emphasise its importance.

The second case I wish to mention to illustrate the importance of the subject involves some long-standing personal friends whose children went to school with mine. As their son grew up, it was discovered that he had serious mental health problems that were later compounded by alcoholism. Not untypically, when he approached mental health services, they would not deal with him because of his alcohol problem; he went to alcoholism services, but they could not deal with him because he had a mental health problem. He finished up in prison and, like many others in our overcrowded prisons, he should not be there. He should be dealt with by mental health services, but they are not structured to help him.


Posted on 18 Apr 2007 5:55 pm (Report this annotation)

It is so sad that the NHS is blinded to the fact that many people self medicate with alcohol and or drugs.

They are then penalised by the very system that should be helping them.
Surely there needs to be greater understanding that those who have been bruised by life use whatever means necessary to numb their sadness & distress.
Especially when the services they need do not exist in the first place!

Worse still is the easy access to allsorts of pharmaceutical drugs
readily available on the internet.
I am inundated with drug offers every time I open my email.
Am I being targeted because I am known to have used Mental Health services and they have access to that information somehow or are they aimed at everyone and I’m just being more paranoid than usual!

Why aren’t the Government doing something about this disgraceful advertising projected at those who are already in a vulnerable state.