Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken the unprecedented step of creating a position in his shadow cabinet that will deal exclusively with mental health issues.
Luciana Berger will become the shadow Minister for Mental Health, and will report to the Shadow Health Secretary at the Department for Health.
The position will focus on how the Labour government can deal with mental health issues, and how they can be addressed by the NHS, along with being prioritised by the government.
The move has been well-received, and has appeared all the more significant given the Conservatives have no similar position in their cabinet.
Mental health issues previously fell under the umbrella of a junior care minster.
Corbyn has spoken about mental health issues in the past, and made it clear he feels more should be done to help those affected by issues that are mental, and not physical, and far harder to quantify and diagnose.
He spoke about the ground-breaking position and claimed: “I am delighted that we have established a shadow cabinet position for mental health which is a matter I have long been interested in.”
All of us can go through depression; all of us can go through those experiences. Every single one of us in this Chamber knows people who have gone through it, and has visited people who have been in institutions and have fully recovered and gone back to work and continued their normal life.Advertisement
I dream of the day when this country becomes as accepting of these problems as some Scandinavian countries are, where one Prime Minister was given six months off in order to recover from depression, rather than being hounded out of office as would have happened on so many other occasions.