Yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn appointed the first-ever Shadow Minister for Mental Health to take a place in his Shadow Cabinet.
This is a completely unique position, and it has no prior precedent, nor does an equivocal position exist in the current Cabinet of the Conservative government.
Corbyn said of the position ‘I am delighted that we have established a Shadow Cabinet position for mental health which is a matter I have long been interested in’.
Luciana Berger will be the first ever MP to have the position, and it will be her job to make mental health a priority and ensure it does not go as neglected as it has been in the years under the Coalition and since.
This goes a long way in the fight to gain recognition for mental health to be seen on an equal level as physical health.
The oft-used analogy is that if you had a broken arm, you would seek medical attention. So too, if you have depression, you should treat this as if you have an obvious physical ailment. This in turn equates to if their is a Health Minister, so too should there be a Mental Health Minister, Mental Health is not simply a minor part of Health, it is a massive part of our lives in of itself.
I do not doubt that soon we shall see this position being created in the Conservative Cabinet, as the mental health crisis that is ongoing in the UK is beginning to reach dramatic proportions.
Luciana Berger will be bringing her experience as Shadow Minister for Public Health to the role, and in her Parliamentary past she has raised the issue of companies avoid their responsibilities to health and safety – which can often relate to businesses using loopholes to avoid responding appropriately to issue of mental health problems amongst staff.
All in all, great news for mental health!