|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Perhaps I may say this to noble Lords on the other side of the House, in particular the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, and the noble Lord, Lord Sainsbury of Turville. I am happy to look at the broader picture. As I have stated--when noble Lords read Hansard they will see that I have stated it again and again--this is a starter for 10. The main point of the exercise was to have serious debate on the problems that the mentally ill face. I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Ramsay of Cartvale, for the detail she has given the House in her reply.
Three points worry me. First, she referred to mental health as being one of the six medium term priorities in 1999. She referred to the aim to reduce deaths from suicide by a sixth by 2010. I appreciate that nothing happens today. But I feel that that is a long time to make the mentally ill wait for mental health services. I offered to put this Government's thoughts into my Bill. The offer remains. I hope that we shall be able to discuss it further at Committee.
It was nice to have the support of noble Lords on this side of the Chamber. My noble friend Lord Lucas of Chilworth gave us a marvellous red herring. Nevertheless, it indicated how many problems are associated with mental health. My noble friend Lord Swinfen spoke from the heart on similar subjects. It was nice to hear the speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Young of Old Scone. I thought that she was an expert on the RSPB. I am most impressed. She is a lady of many talents. I trust that we shall be able to debate her thoughts at great length in Committee.
But the biggest praise goes to the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, who is in the front line in mental health. I agreed with every word that the noble Lord said. He had no notes. He simply gave us a wealth of personal knowledge, straight from the heart. None of us can
As I said in my opening remarks, in an ideal world we should have a new mental health Act. Sadly, we do not live in an ideal world. But we can, and should, make a start now. Sadly, I have not heard a commitment from the Government that there will be, in the short term, any move towards a new mental health Act. I commend the Bill to the House.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|