HEALTH minister Norman Lamb paid a visit to Somerset to meet local supporters and charities who help people with mental health.

He held a meeting with local Somerset groups, including MIND and Samaritans, users of the service, carers and councillors.

The minister has been working on trying to improve support for people with mental health in the NHS and make sure there is a standard approach to that support.

West Somerset parliamentary candidate Justine Baker, who helped organise the visit, said: “I have three people close to me who are currently going through a mental health crisis, and have taken the brave decision to go to a GP and ask for help, but currently any form of counselling has a three-month waiting list.

“This isn’t good enough – those needing support need it straightaway, as you would if you had any other illness.

“Mental health affects not only the individual, but their families and friends – the impact on them is immense.

“Proper training should be given to GPs, health professionals and teachers so they can properly understand the situation and give correct support.

“I’m pleased this is an area that Norman Lamb is working on right now.

“The budget given to partnerships needs to be used more wisely like other areas in the UK do.”