World Mental Health day is more crucial this year than ever before, with the Centre for Mental Health estimating around 8.5 million adults and 1.5 million children in England will need mental health support in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Lockdown restrictions and the uncertainty induced by the pandemic have had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of our community. For this reason, many of the Medway Labour Councillors chose to allocate Ward Improvement Fund (WIF) to Café Nucleus and the Halpern Foundation, who are producing a community craft and support magazine targeted at bolstering the mental health of socially isolated communities and individuals in Medway.
Medway Labour and Co-operative group have made tangible commitments to improving cash starved mental health services for our community, pledging to work directly with our health workers to make community-based metal health services better for everyone. In addition, we want to combat isolation and loneliness by supporting the voluntary sector, modernising local facilities and campaigning to stop wasteful re-commissioning which often leads to those with frail mental health falling through gaps while the services they need are tied up in bureaucratic negotiation just to stay in business. You can read more on this here.
Medway Labour Group’s Spokesperson for Health, Cllr Teresa Murray said that, ‘Ensuring positive mental health and wellbeing within our communities has always been vital, but in these dark and uncertain times it has become absolutely paramount.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has change our lives considerably, and no one is exempt from this: students and teachers adapting to a virtual learning environment, those dealing with economic uncertainty as a result of being on furlough or loosing their jobs, healthcare workers providing care in the most difficult of circumstances and those shielding for their own protection dealing with increased social isolation.
‘According to research carried out by charity Mind, 60% of adults said their mental health deteriorated during lockdown. Tangible mental health support including increased funding to services must be provided in order to avoid a full-scale mental health crisis in the coming years.
‘It’s time to end the stigma around mental health, and I’m unequivocally backing this year’s World Mental Health Day theme of ‘mental health for all’, as well as the move to encourage authorities to make lasting change within mental health care.’