Elaine Bagshaw has called onTower Hamlets to join the fight to improve local mental healthcare services.
It is part of an initiative led by Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Norman Lamb, working together with Alastair Campbell and Andrew Mitchell, which calls for the Government to improve mental healthcare.
As Tower Hamlets conducts its budget review. Local Liberal Democrats urge the Council to protect funding for mental health services, and to ensure it is treated in the same way as physical healthcare.
Mr Lamb has led a cross party campaign to put mental health firmly on the agenda ahead of theGovernment’s spending review later this month.
More than 200 leaders from politics, business, the arts, sport and faith groups have signed an open letter calling on the Government to end the “historic injustice suffered by those who have mental ill health”.
Elaine Bagshaw said: “The Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats are proud to say that we wholeheartedly support this important campaign.
“The Lib Dems will continue the fight for better mental healthcare both nationally and locally. The Council is currently doing its budget review and looking to save money from targeting mental health services better. I worry that this could leave people without the help and support they need, so I urge the Council to protect the current levels of funding for local mental health services.”
Mental health services suffer from underfunding and lag behind in comparison to treatment for physical health problems, yet one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year.
The open letter highlights 10 major concerns, including lack of access to treatment, long waiting times and a 20 year gap in life expectancy between those with mental health problems and the rest of the population.
Signatories include Delia Smith, Richard Curtis, Danny Boyle, Annie Lennox, Graham Norton, Steve Coogan, Frank Skinner, Sam Allardyce, Alan Pardew and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Norman Lamb said: “It is simply not good enough for people with mental health problems to be treated as second class citizens. It's a huge injustice which I am determined to end.
I wanted to see if we could get together a stellar list of leaders from across society to come together to call for equality for those who suffer mental ill health. We have been amazed by the response. Virtually everyone we have asked, agreed to sign. Now we must build a movement across the country demanding an end to this historic injustice.
“I am very proud of the work Lib Dems did on mental health in Government. We secured additional funding for mental health and introduced the first waiting time standards for mental healthcare, but the battle for true equality is far from over.”