Thursday, 5 February 2015

Recognising the country's mental health heroes

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has announced the winners of his Mental Health Hero Awards, following a country-wide search.

The awards recognise those who have done extraordinary things to help, support or inspire people with mental health conditions.

The ten regional winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony tonight (Thursday 5 February) at a Whitehall reception to mark Time to Talk Day, where people are being encouraged to take five minutes out of their day to talk about mental health.

For the full list of winners click here.

Time to Talk Day has been launched by mental health anti-stigma campaign Time to Change. The group's latest survey reveals that nearly 60 per cent of people with mental health problems wait over a year to tell the people closest to them about it.

Liberal Democrats are leading the campaign to stamp out the mental health stigma.

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the huge number of responses we’ve had for these awards and the incredible work going on to help other people in their darkest hours.

“Every single one of them is helping us win the fight to tackle the stigma and prejudice around mental health and build a fairer society where no one has to suffer in silence. In my eyes they are all winners.

“Days like this are a reminder of the progress we have made in raising awareness of mental health, but we still have a long way to go.

“Today, we can all make a difference by giving just five minutes for Time to Talk Dayand speaking out about mental health. It may be minutes to you but could make a world of difference for someone else.”

Nick has also announced that the Department of Health will continue to fund Time to Change for a further year with an additional £2.5m on top of the £16m already invested since 2011.

This money will help support people and encourage them to talk about their mental health problems and to tackle the discrimination they face.

Liberal Democrat Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

“I’m delighted that we’re investing a further £2.5m in the vital work of Time to Change next year. The programme has led the way in tackling the devastating stigma faced by so many with mental health problems.

“We all have a role to play in ending discrimination for good - Time to Talk Day is a fantastic opportunity to start conversations and I’m pleased to see so many people getting the recognition they deserve through today’s awards.”