Anxiety UK has given a mixed welcome to the third reading of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill in the House of Lords today (Monday February 11th, 2013).
The leading anxiety disorders charity in the UK say the Mental Health Bill will make significant strides in dealing with the stigma and discrimination that anxiety and mental health sufferers continue to face on a daily basis.
But Anxiety UK say the bill is being undermined by the government’s own policy making and cites the recent consultation on the Blue Badge parking scheme by the Department of Transport (DoT) as an example.
Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK CEO, said: “The third reading of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill is a major hurdle in the fight for equality for anxiety and mental health sufferers and the elimination of discriminatory practices.
“But it is disappointing to see that such a positive step forward that had total cross party support is failing to be matched by policy making that treats those same sufferers equally.
“Only last month the DoT rejected calls to include in the Blue Badge scheme those diagnosed with a mental health condition, intellectual or cognitive impairment but who are able to walk.
“As a result thousands of Blue Badge parking permit holders who suffer from an anxiety or mental health disorder are set to lose out when the government introduces new eligibility criteria this year as part of its welfare reforms.
“We can only hope that with the passing of this bill the government will recognise that it is time they had a more joined up approach to policy and law making and started to practice what it is preaching.”