"This is a landmark moment for mental health. For too long, people accessing mental health services have not had the same right to timely treatment that we all expect if we have a physical health problem. We know from our work as part of the We Need to Talk coalition that, as a consequence, one in ten still wait over a year to access talking therapy. Today’s announcement not only acknowledges the unfair imbalance that has long existed between physical and mental health services, it is the first clear commitment from Government to take the practical steps needed to tackle it.
"Over recent years we have heard fine words from the Department of Health and NHS England about finally treating mental health with the same importance we give physical health but, in the face of cuts to services, the reality has been that the gap has widened and services have failed thousands. It’s good to see some additional funding committed in this plan.
"We now need to see these important ambitions translate into tangible improvements for everyone trying to access the help they need.”Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President Elect of the British Psychological Society:
"This announcement from the Deputy Prime Minister is a major step towards achieving parity of esteem for mental health conditions. The introduction of a waiting times target clearly shows the increasing recognition of the need for timely interventions for those with psychological health problems. I am pleased to see the pledge to extend this commitment on targets for conditions including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, in the next parliament."