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A report into mental health care, by the government’s chief medical officer, which called for better mental health services to stop people taking time off sick, has been criticised by mental health charities.
The report, by Professor Dame Sally Davies, said more help was needed for those in work to stop mental health issues have a detrimental effect on the economy.
The paper estimated that around 70 million days were lost to mental illness last year, costing the economy between £70 and £100 billion.
However, Paul Farmer, chief executive of leading mental health charity MIND, said improved and faster access to care should be available to all, not just those in work.
He said: “We feel it is essential that everyone with a mental health problem gets timely access to the treatment they need, whether in or out of work.”
Prof Davies said: “I urge commissioners and decision-makers to treat mental health more like physical health. Sixty to seventy per cent of people with common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are in work.”