British Labour Leader: Verbal Attacks on Mentally Ill Similar to Racism and Homophobia

“There are still people who abuse the privilege of their celebrity to insult, demean and belittle others, such as when Janet Street-Porter says that depression is ‘the latest must-have accessory’ promoted by the ‘misery movement’.
“Jeremy Clarkson at least acknowledges the tragedy of people who end their own life but then goes on to dismisses them as ‘Johnny Suicides’ whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys.
“Just as we joined the fight against racism, against sexism and against homophobia, so we should join the fight against this form of intolerance. It is not acceptable, it costs Britain dear, and it has to change.”
He will liken the failure to tackle mental health as akin to the failure in the past to tackle public health issues such as sanitation and smoking.
Miliband will claim mental health is not just an issue for the health service, saying it means bringing together everyone in Britain to acknowledge, understand and confront this national challenge. The total cost of mental ill health in business is £20bn, he will contend.
The taskforce is likely to look at what can be done to revive the increasing access to the psychological therapies programme that Labour claims is being undermined by cuts enforced on primary care trusts.
The commitment to rewrite the NHS constitution is potentially expensive, but Miliband will argue that the cost of leaving mental illness untreated is higher.
Full Article by Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

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