Sir Norman Lamb on the need for change to mental health services

Norman Lamb. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norman Lamb. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Sir Norman Lamb, has said complaining about mental health services in Norfolk is not enough to create change and positive action must be taken.

Open up at OPEN, which is being sponsored by Liam Lambert Construction Ltd will take place on March

Open up at OPEN, which is being sponsored by Liam Lambert Construction Ltd will take place on March 6 2020. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

On Friday, March 6, Sir Norman will be one of a number of people speaking at the Open Up at Open mental health event in Norwich.

The free to attend event, which will take place in Open, on Bank Plain, will cover everything from where to seek mental health advice from, to standards of care and real-life stories to help spread the message no one suffering mental ill health is alone.

Sir Norman will be speaking about the Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund he established in 2019, which aims to support grassroots organisations across Norfolk.

He said he had seen the pressures on mental health services during his time as an MP: "Mental ill health touches most families - including my own.

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"The impact can be devastating and can have a knock-on effect on the whole family. During my time as a Member of Parliament, I was horrified at the number of cases I came across of young people who had been badly let down by NHS mental health services in Norfolk - in some cases teenagers having to wait a year before their first appointment for treatment.

"Waiting times for autism diagnosis are even worse," he said.

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Sir Norman said everyone had a stake in improving mental health treatment in Norfolk, he said: "The EDP's Open Up event is a perfect example of people coming together to drive change and the importance of sharing our own personal experiences.

"We have a stake in this, we all have an interest in sorting this out. We can just complain to ourselves about how awful everything is or we can do something about it and control our destiny. "It cannot be left to government.

"I believe that we can create an evidence based model in Norfolk that could become an exemplar for other parts of the country," he said.

For more information on the day, head to the Open Up at Open Facebook page.

Open up at Open: The line-up

Open Up at Open will take place at Open in Bank Plain, Norwich, on Friday, March 6 from 8.30am to 6pm.

The day will begin at 9am with a BBC Radio Norfolk breakfast debate, which will be broadcast live from the venue.

Among the panellists will be Sir Norman Lamb, who will also be discussing his mental health grass roots fund in a Q&A with David Powles, editor of the EDP and Evening News, at 10.15am.

From 11.30am to 1.30pm there will be a series of short talks from people who will be sharing personal experiences on the topic of mental health.

Actor Joe Tracini will be the first to speak, followed by former police officer Steve Hunt, blogger Carly Rowena, Darren Eadie and Craig Hill.

At 1.30pm there will be a panel discussion on children's wellbeing, followed by talks on tackling loneliness at 3pm and mental health in the workplace at 4pm.

The day will come to a close at 5pm with a mindfulness and yoga session.

A number of mental health charities and organisation will also be at the event with information about their work and specialisms.

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