Cllr Ed Davie on the excellent work taking place in Lambeth to support residents with mental ill health
Last week Lambeth became the first council to officially commit to working with Thrive LDN
Dedicated to addressing the causes, as well as the treatment, of mental ill health Thrive LDN is a citywide initiative, supported by the Mayor of London.
Although the Tory government is making it extremely difficult we must use all opportunities to support our residents.
Despite seven years’ of unfair central government cuts, Lambeth has done what it can to support people with mental ill health to get the right treatment when they need support.
The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative pioneered bringing services and those who use them together to produce better support. That approach is developing into a new NHS, council and charity contract that should make it much easier to support people with housing and social as well as medical needs.
Black Thrive, created following council-led work to address the disproportionate number of our black residents with serious mental illness, is empowering those communities to help fulfil potential and avoid unnecessary suffering.
We know that giving all our children the best start in life also gives them the best chance of enjoying life-time good mental health and is why the council is protecting our Sure Start centres, introduced by the last Labour government.
Our poorest areas are also benefitting from the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) to support parents and we have continued to support our schools, transformed by the Labour government’s
London Challenge investment. As result more than 96% of Lambeth’s schools are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the Ofsted inspectors and we have exam results in the country’s top 10%.
Poverty and inequality are important factors in determining a person’s mental health. Lambeth is now implementing its Equalities Commission findings and has developed an employment service specifically targeted at those furthest from the labour market. Lambeth Council is a London Living Wage employer and we are doing our best to protect the poorest in the face of the disastrous Universal
Credit changes that will leave many families out of pocket for weeks and struggling to pay their rent.
Housing is also vital to people’s wellbeing and the council is investing £600 million to improve the social housing stock and is building 1,000 extra council rent homes despite Green and Tory opposition.
Whilst all this is positive there is much more to be done and many more challenges facing our most vulnerable residents. The only way we can really hope to address the growing need at a time of even greater cuts is to work together as services and individuals to support each other – supporting Thrive LDN is another part of that effort.
Cllr Ed Davie, Chair of Lambeth Overview & Scrutiny Committee