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Care and treatment of people with mental health issues to be overhauled

The care, support and treatment of people with mental health issues is to be overhauled. It comes as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg published a 25-point action plan following a strong attack on how the NHS treats mental health patients. A poll of 2-thousand 11-to-25 year olds has found a third do not know where to get help if they feel depressed or anxious.

Rachel Welch from which is part of the Christian support organisation Youthscape told Premier's News Hour what she wants churches to be doing:

More than half of those questioned in the poll by a charity said they'd feel like a 'failure' if they didn't pass exams.

Over half believed they would be a failure if they did not get good grades, half said they had been bullied, while a third said they did not know where to turn to get help when they feel depressed or anxious.

Of the 11 to 14-year-olds questioned, four in 10 said they skipped meals to try to stay thin and over half said they had viewed online pornography, with four out of 10 of these saying it had affected their relationships with others of their age. Mr Clegg said that mental illness cost the economy £105bn every year and that life expectancy for a man with severe mental illness was reduced by 20 years compared with the rest of the population, and 15 years for a woman.

He said people with mental health issues would have the same legal right as those with physical conditions to choose where they went for care, including being able to choose the person and provider from April. The choice would not be limited to an NHS organisation, and patients would also be able to choose from a voluntary or independent provider offering services on the NHS when they went to see their GP to seek help, he added.

New standards on access and waiting times for mental health services are also to be introduced next year, so that patients will know what kind of treatment to expect and when. Elsewhere, a Church of England Bishop has dismissed what's become known as the most depressing day of the year as 'PR puff'. The Church is urging Christians to condemn 'Blue Monday'  and count their blessings instead. The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell told Premier's News Hour why we should appreciate what we've got:

The Bishop made the comments in reaction to a YouGov survey for the Church of England commissioned for 'Blue Monday.'

More than half said being thankful for family and partners was their top blessing followed by health.

The research also shows that the proportion counting their blessings every day increases with age, with one third of those aged 55+ counting their blessings every day, compared to one in six of those aged 18-24.

According to the survey women tend to feel more tired, depressed and overweight than men in January but on the other hand women are far more likely than men to count their blessings at least once a week.

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