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New government drive to end mental health stigma
14 June 2004

The Government today called for a major cultural shift in attitutes towards people with mental health problems. A new report, published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Social Exclusion Unit, outlines how for the first time action will be taken to address the full range of issues affecting people with mental health problems, rather than focusing solely on medical needs. It sets out a far-reaching programme, involving over 20 government departments, agencies and other organisations.

Jeff Rooker, Minister for Social Exclusion, said:

"One in six adults suffer from common mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, at any time. Yet this report shows people with mental health problems are one of the most socially excluded groups.

"That's why we're taking action to increase opportunities, particuarly in employment, but also addressing housing, education, family needs and community participation."

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"Our aim is to ensure that people with mental health problems can get acccess to ordinary mainstream opportunities."

Rosie Winterton will be launching a five year strategic plan to tackle stigma and discrimination on mental health grounds, led by NIMHE, on 23 June.

The report is available from the Social Exclusion Unit web site.

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health Response to Report

For further information: W: ODPM News Release

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