Stratford lawyer praises celebrity campaign to highlight mental health priorities

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Leading celebrities have been praised for their successful campaign to highlight the plight of the mentally ill.

Gareth Morris, a solicitor in the Stratford-upon-Avon office of law firm CBTC Rawstorne and a specialist in the sector, said it had pushed the issue up the political agenda.

Mr Morris said:

“You can see a broken leg but you can’t see mental illness in the same way.

It is one of those issues few people want to talk about so for the likes of comedians Frank Skinner and Ruby Wax, former footballer Ian Wright, presenter Graham Norton and film star Emma Thompson to speak about their own experiences with depression has been very significant.

The Government has pledged that mental health is a priority – it is being taken to a new level and deservedly so. It affects people across the spectrum and across the country. Indeed it has been estimated that about a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem at some stage in their lives.”

Chancellor George Osborne admitted in the Autumn Statement that mental health was an area within the NHS which had been “neglected for too long”.

And he singled out former mental health minister Norman Lamb, Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell, and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, all of whom were instrumental in launching the Equality for Mental Health Campaign, seeking greater funding of mental health services, for “their work in this vital area”.

He pledged an extra £600 million of additional funding – the Government increased overall mental health funding to £11.7 billion in 2014/15.

Mr Morris, who takes great pride in being able to help vulnerable clients, and guide them through trying periods, noted:

“Mental health needs to be treated as seriously as other illnesses, and I think that message is at last being well and truly heard as well as acted upon.”