Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, attended an event to launch a report, published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Muscular Dystrophy, which calls on the Government, NHS England and others to take immediate action to ensure specialist mental health support is available at the point of diagnosis and beyond.
Families, health professionals and MPs gathered in Parliament to throw their weight behind the report and show their support for better, more tailored mental health services.
Sir Mike said:
“I’m delighted to support Muscular Dystrophy UK’s campaign to ensure access to mental health support is available to people with muscle-wasting conditions. Having personally spoken to people at the event about their experiences, and having seen the report, it’s clear the current provision does not appear to meet the need of individuals and their families. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and I hope the recommendations in the report will result in significant improvements.”
The report recommends:
- Increased clinical psychologist time dedicated to patients
- Regular screening for mental health problems at key life stages from diagnosis onwards
- The integration of clinical psychologists in all multi-disciplinary teams with urgent resourcing of centres that lack such roles
- Innovative ways of providing appropriate psychological support through greater use of face-to-face digital technology such as Skype, and within the local community.
Catherine Woodhead, Muscular Dystrophy UK CEO, said:
“This report shows just how important it is for better recognition and provision of specialist mental health support for all family members who are likely to be affected by the impact of muscle-wasting conditions.”
To join Muscular Dystrophy UK’s mental health matters campaign and help make a difference go to: www.musculardystrophyuk.org/mental-health-matters