Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged to plough more money into mental health research.
The Lib Dem leader has announced that his party’s next manifesto will include a promise to raise the amount spent annually on research to £50m by 2020.
He said that the UK should be a world leader in developing new treatments and that the goal should be to make a breakthrough that is just as significant as the discovery of penicillin.
“My ambition is that we should understand mental health just as well as we understand physical health.
“I want us to be able to talk about, analyse and treat depression just as we treat diabetes.
“For far too long mental health has been a bit of a taboo subject- yet it affects one in four people in this country.”
His announcement follows growing frustration among mental health charities about the level of resources put into treating conditions like depression.
Last month it was revealed that many clinical commissioning groups were putting less than a tenth of their budget into treating mental health, even though it accounts for almost 25 per cent of cases that the NHS has to deal with.
Mind, a charity which supports those with conditions like anxiety and depression, welcomed Mr Clegg’s commitment
Chief executive Paul Farmer said: “It’s really encouraging to see one of the main parties prioritising mental health at this early stage in the development of their manifestos.
“During the recession, we saw the impact on the country’s mental health, with a significant increase in antidepressant prescribing, use of mental health legislation and, tragically, the number of people taking their own lives.”
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