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Clegg: 'Mental health "poor cousin" to physical health'

The government is set to announce major changes to the mental health strategy, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed. 

In a strong attack on how the NHS treats mental health patients, Clegg (pictured) said it is “just plain wrong” to treat the illness as a “poor cousin” of physical health. 

A recent survey of close to 5,000 people with mental health problems found that: 

 - More than half said that stigma and discrimination associated with mental health was as bad or worse than the illness itself

 - More than a quarter waited for over a year to tell their family about their problem

 - Nearly a quarter of young people said discrimination and stigma stopped them going to school

Today, Clegg is chairing a conference where he will announce the new strategy. 

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Nick Clegg said: “I want to thank NHS professionals and volunteers who work so hard to give people with mental health conditions the support they deserve. But there is still more to do. We need to make mental health as much of a priority as physical health and create an environment where it's okay to talk about it.

“So tomorrow I will be setting out how we can improve care for sufferers and their families. That includes extra support for young people when they move from child to adult services and increasing access to therapies for every child.”