LONDON, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Theresa May announced Monday Britain's biggest ever drive aimed at helping millions of people with mental health problems.
In a keynote speech in London, May described as a tragic fact that one in 10 children in Britain has a diagnosable mental health condition.
May described the need as urgent, saying the number of girls saying they've self-harmed has more than trebled in recent years.
"The long-term effects can be crippling: children with behavioral disorders are four times more likely to be dependent on drugs, six times more likely to die before the age of 30, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison," she said.
Giving the annual Charity Commission speech, May unveiled a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities.
She said "I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society."
Her proposed comprehensive package of reforms is set to improve mental health support at every stage of a person's life, with an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people.
She said "For too long mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health."
Every high school in the country is to be offered mental health first aid training and a new partnership is to be created with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace.
The Department of Health said that with one in four people in Britain having a common mental disorder at any one time, the economic and social cost is 128 billion U.S. dollars a year, equal to the entire annual budget of the National Health Service.
Paul Farmer, CEO of the mental health charity MIND, said "It's important to see the Prime Minister talking about mental health and shows how far we have come in bringing the experiences of people with mental health problems up the political agenda. Mental health should be at the heart of government, and at the heart of society and communities, it's been on the periphery for far too long."