meeting with Health Minister hailed by Burnham mum
mother Jo Clements, whose teenage son Charley Marks who took his
own life last autumn, met Health Minister Norman Lamb and Liberal
Democrat Tessa Munt on Monday (May 4th) to discuss proposed mental
health changes in the UK.
Norman Lamb and Tessa met to meet and listen to local young people
who have suffered from mental ill health, as well as family members
and friends who have experienced trying to help someone struggling
with their mental health.
18 year-old son, Charley Marks, committed suicide last September.
A new charity, In Charley's Memory, was launched in his memory
to support young people with mental health issues.
said Monday's meeting was 'inspirational'. She told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"I think it was a really informative, inspirational meeting
and definitely a point of motivation for the charity to raise
awareness and support for our cause."
as an area seems to be lagging behind in the modernisation of
mental health illnesses and we want to be the leaders of changing
this in our area."
Norman and Tessa were very welcoming and listened intently to
what both Emily Sanders, who is our charity's secretary, and I
had to say. The support we have gained so far for In Charley's
Memory shows how attitudes are starting to positively change towards
mental health illnesses."
Since Tessa won the election back in 2010, she says many local
young people have contacted her about mental health during her
700 surgeries, home visits and via mail.
said: "Mental health services in Somerset, like the rest
of the country, have traditionally been the poorer cousin compared
to the treatment you get for physical health conditions. Those
with mental health problems have got used to being left at the
back of the queue, side-lined and told to pull themselves
together its just not good enough."
the first time ever, Norman Lamb has enshrined it into the core
of the NHS that mental health must be seen on an equal footing
to physical health. What Im interested in is making this
work on the ground for local young people in Somerset and I firmly
believe that listening to those who have first-hand experience
is key which why I was so keen for Norman to come and do this."
Minister Norman Lamb said after Monday's meeting: "Tessa
has been a staunch supporter of our campaign to deliver equality
for mental health, and she regularly reports back on the experiences
of local people in rural Somerset. Today it was great to be able
to meet some of these people, hear what they had to say first
hand and answer some of their questions. Im proud to say
that mental health is slap bang on the front of the Liberal Democrat
manifesto, and will continue to be one of our top priorities for
the next Parliament."