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12 February 2013
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“Yesterday’s long-awaited announcement rightly acknowledges that the debate around health and social care is as much about people with long-term conditions such as mental health problems, as it is about the needs of older people. In particular we welcome the higher means-testing threshold, the introduction of a lower cap on care costs for working-age adults and free care for those with support needs before the age of 18. People living with mental health problems are more likely to be on low incomes, so can struggle to pay for the support that they need.
“However, the vast majority of people living with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by their mid-twenties. The cut-off for free care at 18 will not help everyone, and it is unfair that many people with life-long conditions should still have to face care costs and the associated financial insecurity at all.
“These reforms fail to address the overall lack of money in the system to support people with social care needs. The current squeeze on funds means that local authorities often set eligibility criteria for support at a high level, meaning many people with mental health problems do not receive any support at all.”