A Rugby-based mental health charity has been praised for its vital work in helping people in the community.
Last week MP Norman Lamb, who is chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority on Mental Health, paid a visit to the Coventry and Warwickshire Mind centre in Rugby.
Mr Lamb, who was also a former Minister of State for Care and Support in the Coalition Government, had the chance to see first-hand how services are coping with the demand placed on them from people suffering from mental health problems.
During his visit Mr Lamb spoke to Warwickshire County Council’s Interim Strategic Director of People Group, John Dixon and Communities Strategic Director, Monica Fogarty about mental health services in Warwickshire and how the West Midlands Mental Health Commission could support services across the county.
At the Mind centre Mr Lamb met users of the service and senior staff and also witnessed how playing musical instruments is used as form of therapy for many users.
In the evening the MP also attended a dinner hosted by the Rugby Liberal Democrats at Arnold House, where he spoke about the importance of early intervention to prevent mental health issues developing and the need for more funding and support for schools.
Mr Lamb said: “I have met real people with real mental health experiences and seen first-hand the excellent work that is going on throughout Warwickshire to support people with mental health problems.
“The stigma around mental health is changing and more people are talking about it. However, we still need equality for mental health services within the NHS.
“This will only happen if sufferers can access the services where they live and schools, charities and local authorities are also given the resources they need to intervene early to prevent problems from developing.”
Rugby Councillor Jerry Roodhouse, who organised the visit, said: “We are delighted that Norman was able to visit Warwickshire and see how different services are working across the county.
“Norman’s passion for mental health was evident throughout. What’s important is that we continue to treat sufferers as equal citizens and the Government continue to invest in vital services that spot the signs of mental health issues before they arise, giving people a better quality of life.”