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Hunt praises regional daily’s mental health campaign success

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has praised a regional daily’s campaign to get better mental health care for children.

Speaking at a regional press lunch in Westminster, Mr Hunt described the Hull Daily Mail’s Kids in Crisis campaign as a “brilliant thing.”

As reported by HTFP on Monday, NHS England has announced the opening of a new inpatient unit for children from Hull and the East Riding following an 18 month appeal by the newspaper.

Mr Hunt was speaking at a lunch held by the Newspaper Conference, made up of London-based representatives of regional newspapers, on Tuesday.

The front page which launched the campaign in January 2015

The front page which launched the campaign in January 2015

The health secretary was asked by Patrick Daly, parliamentary correspondent for the Bristol Post, Hull Daily Mail and Grimsby Telegraph, about the Mail’s Kids in Crisis campaign and the role of local papers in bringing issues such as mental health to light.

He responded: “What you do, what you have to do if you’re going to survive and thrive, is to really be in touch with what your readers and listeners and viewers care about, and they care about nothing more than local health provision.

“So I think mental health is a brilliant thing to campaign on because it’s been a Cinderella service for a long time in the NHS.”

Speaking about the regional press, he added: “We are always told by Number 10 that we must give much, much, more attention to the regional press than we typically do because you have this incredible reach, 40 million people, but also this trust with your readership that is unparalleled.”