Labour leader Corbyn creates shadow mental health post

MP Luciana Berger to take on task of developing policy

A leading mental health charity has welcomed the appointment of a shadow health minister who will focus on developing Labour policy on mental health.

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger was named as a shadow health minister by newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn. She will report to shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander.

Geoff Heyes, policy and campaigns manager for Mind, said: ‘We are pleased to see the Labour party showing such clear commitment to mental health.

‘We don’t yet know what responsibilities the post will include, but we are very much encouraged to hear mental health explicitly referenced while the shadow cabinet is being assembled.

‘Mental health problems will affect one in four of us in the next year. Despite this, for decades mental health service provision has lagged far behind the standards of care we take for granted when it comes to our physical health.

‘Parties are starting to understand mental health is about much more than NHS service provision. We expect the new shadow minister to make sure mental health is on everyone’s agenda, recognising the impact all areas of public policy can have on everyone’s wellbeing.’

In a speech in parliament in February, Mr Corbyn said he believed access to timely and appropriate treatment was the biggest issue in mental health care, alongside the recognition of mental ill health by the Department for Work and Pensions.

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