Mental health problems deserve as much attention as physical issues, it has been suggested.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said that more recognition is required for people struggling will mental issues.
"We have long campaigned for mental illness to be treated with the same priority as cancer or heart disease, knowing that as many as one in four of us will experience it at some point in our lives, and that this suffering will impinge on families and friends as well," she explained.
The comments follow deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's announcement that plans to reform health services in the UK will increase the focus on mental health.
Ms Wallace added that professionals also require more training to help them handle sufferers with sensitivity.
At the moment, many people with mental health conditions note that the stigma associated with the problem is often "as difficult and painful as the condition itself".
© Adfero Ltd
Private mental health treatment news: 8 February 2011