Following a number of complaints about local mental health services, John Pugh is urging local residents who have used local services to contact him in order that a rounded picture can emerge.

“The Government, thanks to the pioneering work of Liberal Democrat ministers, have insisted that mental health has parity with physical health but people who use mental health services and their families have no idea what to expect.

“Mental health issues are a hidden scourge which patients and their families are slow to talk about even if treatment is poor and waiting times are unacceptable.

“The reality is though 1 in 4 people will suffer some kind of mental health issue during the year – and for some this will be seriously disabling and require prompt medical intervention.

“In the case of young people in particular, society can be slow to recognise when they are in real difficulty. Mental health services have come a long way but because that are community based it can be hard to assess how good or bad they are.”

The MP revealed that his first real job prior to going to university had been as mental health nurse in a old fashioned institution called Oakwood Hospital, Maidstone.

“Things have come a long way since then and looking back I’m surprised how grim they were but the problem now is services although better are less visible and hard to assess which is why I want people to contact me.”

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