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Keira Knightley calls for mental health funding changes


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Keira Knightley has called for funding for mental health services to be ring-fenced, with more help provided for children and young mothers.

The actress revealed last week she had a mental breakdown at 22 and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as she struggled with her rise to fame.

Asked about her comments, Knightly told the BBC: “People need to know they are not aloneā€¦ everybody breaks down.”

Speaking at the London Film Festival, she said it was important to seek help.

Knightley was still a teenager in 2002 when she starred in her breakthrough film Bend it Like Beckham, and a year later she was cast in blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean.

Despite her success, criticism bit hard.

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Arriving at the premiere of her new film, Colette, on Thursday evening, Knightley said: “Everybody, no matter who you are, has a tricky time in your life.”

“There should be help for children with mental health issues, there should be help for young mothers with mental health issues,” Knightley told Natalie Jamieson, for BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It’s something as a society that we really need to look at,” she said, adding that funding should be ringfenced.

Research suggests three-quarters of mental health problems are established by the age of 24.

And analysis last year by the King’s Fund health think tank found 40% of mental health trusts in England had seen their budgets cut in 2015-16.

‘Help working mothers’

The government has announced increases to mental health funding, while bodies dealing with hospital and community health are being required to increase the 13.7% of their budgets currently spent in that area.

Knightley spoke about highlighting inspirational women, as in her latest role as French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette whose husband Willy took credit for her first four novels.

She also said more needed to be done for working mothers, pointing out she was lucky to be able to have her daughter on set.

“I’m in a very lucky place… where I can demand certain things. That is not the case for every single woman,” she added.



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