MPs rethink mental health

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Support and care for people with mental illness was on the agenda as MPs heard concerns of service users and their carers.

Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, and Natascha Engel, Labour MP for North East Derbyshire, visited a Rethink Mental Illness community service that supports people with severe mental illness.

Points raised included treatment by local hospitals, job centres and the police, concern about the benefits system being set up for physical, rather than mental health problems, and worries that GPs do not fully understand mental health.

Michael Crossley, from Dunston, who volunteers at Rethink in Chesterfield, said: “I hope that by meeting my MP, positive changes will be made for people affected by mental ill health.

“I’d like to see a dedicated mental health minister to make a difference to people living with mental illness. I came along today because I wanted to talk to the people who have the power to make a difference.”

Toby Perkins said: “Having the opportunity to meet people and hear their concerns has been extremely valuable.

“It’s vital to listen to the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community and I intentd to raise these issues.”