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Government highlights equal importance of mental and physical health

14th November 2013

Care minister Norman Lamb has underlined the government's commitment to ensuring that mental and physical health issues are treated with equal importance.

Speaking after the publication of the latest NHS England Mandate, the MP said efforts will be made to close the health gap between people with mental health problems and the population as a whole.

In addition to introducing new waiting time and access standards for mental health services from 2015 for the the first time, the government is assessing new ways of enhancing crisis care for mental conditions and combating the social stigma surrounding such issues.

Mr Lamb noted that mental illness is the biggest cause of disability in the UK, resulting in economic and social costs of 105 billion pounds in 2010.

He said: "One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime. The truth is that this affects us all and we cannot afford to ignore it."

This comes in the same week that the government pledged to increase the number of trained specialist mental health midwives in the NHS, in order to aid those at risk of suffering from postnatal depression.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801660796-ADNFCR

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