With mental health inequality in the spotlight, we respond to this recent report and the essential role councils play in improving their residents’ mental health and wellbeing.
Responding to a Centre for Mental Health report on reducing mental health inequalities, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This report starkly demonstrates how the coronavirus pandemic has worsened existing inequalities, with some groups of people experiencing far poorer mental health than others.
“Councils play an essential role in improving their residents’ mental health and wellbeing, including through adult and children’s social care, suicide prevention, workforce support and helping unpaid carers and new parents, as well as by providing safe access to parks and green spaces, supporting schools, youth services, children’s centres and expanding public libraries’ online offer.
“Through their wider responsibilities such as for housing, financial support and advice, and culture, councils are also uniquely placed to join up support which meets people’s needs, including mental health.
“The upcoming Spending Review should be used to provide ongoing funding for councils to invest in effective mental health services and support to meet existing, new and unmet demand.
“This should include a shift in focus and funding away from simply treating mental ill-health and towards a locally-led approach to promoting people’s mental wellbeing throughout their lives.”