Lib Dems forecast mental distress epidemic

Britain will suffer an epidemic of mental distress as a consequence of the recession hitting families, according to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Speaking at a conference at the University of Sheffield, he called for action to combat the ‘hidden tragedy' of the recession, by reducing the impact of the financial crisis on people's mental health.

Mr Clegg suggests:

  • Debt counsellors to be trained to identify people with mental health problems,
  • A maximum waiting time of 13 weeks for mental health patients to see a therapist,
  • Allowing individuals to freeze their own credit rating so no new loans or credit could be given to an individual, and,
  • Banks should put procedures in place to help customers who have disclosed their mental health problems including allowing for accounts to be voluntarily monitored for unusual spending and a system of joint authorisation from a friend or support worker.

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