Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman Back Mental Health Campaign
Emma Thompson (Professor Sybill Trelawney) and Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape) are among a host of famous faces who have backed a campaign called Equality for Mental Health, calling for increased funding for mental health services.
Other former Potter alumni, who have signed a petition urging the British government to treat mental health illnesses with the same attitude as they do physical illnesses, include Dawn French (The Fat Lady in Prisoner of Azkaban), Lenny Henry (the voice of the shrunken head in Prisoner of Azkaban), Zoë Wanamaker (Madam Rolanda Hooch), and Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour).
According to the campaign, the average lifespan of those who have suffered from mental illnesses is 20 years less than the general population. The signatories of the open letter identified funding as one of the key reasons behind the disparity between the number of people suffering and the number of people receiving treatment.
Mental illnesses account for 23% of all ill health in the UK and are the largest single cause of disability, according to a 2008 report by World Health Organization. Campaigners would like to see increased investment in the provision of mental health services and are urging people to sign up on social media using the hashtag #Equality4MentalHealth and via the website Equality4MentalHealth.uk.
The British Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said,
We fully welcome this campaign and the attention it brings to an area in which we have invested more money than ever before.
We have made great strides in the way that we think about, and treat, mental health in this country. Whether it is our talking therapies reaching more than three million people, the police working with mental health nurses to aid those in crisis, or school counsellors helping young people with eating disorders, we are making good progress.
But we are committed to doing more. This campaign can play a vital role, and we are making sure everyone has the care they need when they need it, seven days a week.
Will you be backing this campaign? Let us know your thoughts!