We will reduce stigma around mental illness, says Theresa May

Parliament Big Ben from Westminster Bridgesource: The Guardian
published: 9 January 2017

The government is to announce measures aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, the prime minister has said, claiming social efforts are more important than providing extra money for services.

Theresa May said the importance of support networks for people with mental illness had been brought home to her by the observation that anyone at work with their arm in a plaster would have colleagues talking about their injury, while “if you have a mental health problem, people are more likely to try to avoid you”.

As part of her vision for a “shared society”, May will announce measures on Monday aimed at improving the support available for people with mental health problems. “Money is going into mental health, but it is always wrong for people to assume that the only answer to these issues is about funding,” she said.

May is due to announce that Dennis Stevenson, a former HBOS chairman and a mental health campaigner, will lead a review alongside Paul Farmer, the chief executive of the mental health charity Mind. They will look at how people with mental health problems can be better supported in the workplace.

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