Equality for mental health petition grows.
Film director Danny Boyle, screenwriter Richard Curtis, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew and General Sir Peter Wall, former head of the British Army and president of Combat Stress, are the latest names to back the Equality for Mental Health Campaign.
More than 200 people have now signed an open letter to the Government calling for greater help. It comes help within days of the campaign’s launch by Lib Dem former mental health minister Norman Lamb, Time to Change ambassador and former Labour government communications director Alastair Campbell, and former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell.
Boyle said he had “no hesitation” in signing up to the campaign stating: “For too long mental health and mental illness have been surrounded by stigma and taboo and I will support anything that strips that away.
“There cannot be anyone alive who doesn’t know someone who has some kind of mental illness and yet it does not get the same understanding or support as physical illness. That is an injustice that harms so many lives.”
Pardew noted that even though there has been “big changes” in attitudes to the issues during his lifetime in professional sport “we still have a long way to go before we can say physical and mental health are seen in the same way”.
He said: “Most people will know someone with a mental health issue and yet it still lags behind physical health when it comes to government spending and general public attitudes. I am more than happy to support this campaign.”
Campaigners would like to see increased investment in the provision of mental health services and are urging people to sign up on social media using the hashtag #Equality4MentalHealth and via the website Equality4MentalHealth.uk.
Lack of access to treatment, long waiting times, inadequate crisis care and use of police cells are some of their concerns. The campaign has been launched ahead of the Government’s spending round.
Faith leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Dr Shuja Shafi of the Muslim Council of Britain are among the signatories, along with singer Annie Lennox, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, presenter Graham Norton, comedian Ruby Wax and actress Emma Thompson.
To find out more visit the Equality4MentalHealth website.