Cllr Joshua Lindsey is the Lambeth Labour Suicide Prevention Champion and a councillor in Ferndale ward.
Today is #TimeToTalk day – a day run by the Time to Change campaign that encourages everyone to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.
This time of year can be the hardest time of year for those suffering mental health difficulties.
In Lambeth, despite the best efforts of families, communities and health and social care workers, our young people’s mental health is in crisis.
One in eight young people suffers from poor mental health and the number of young people presenting at A&E with acute mental health conditions has tripled under the Conservative government.
After 10 years of austerity, local authorities and the NHS is able to support fewer than half of those young people who need to access mental health services.
A recent survey by Young Minds found that two thirds of young people could not find support when they needed it and 75 per cent of people said they had to manage their mental health on their own. 90 per cent of GPs agree that there is a shocking rise in the number of young people seeking support with mental health in the last three years.
In Lambeth, poor mental health, inequality and deprivation lead to high instances of mental health conditions and in the most acute cases higher suicide rates.
If the Conservative government were to properly fund public services and local authorities these health outcomes would improve.
At our January full council meeting Lambeth Labour brought a motion about the crisis in young people’s mental health. The motion calls on us as a council to build on our suicide prevention strategy.
We will work with the Mayor of London to help implement his Zero Suicide vision – providing training for all of our staff and partners. We will support Thrive LDN and their work in suicide prevention and we will campaign against the Conservative Government’s funding cuts, demanding that they properly fund local authorities, mental health services and our social workers, education staff and care workers so that our borough’s young people can access the services that they deserve.
Cllr Joshua Lindsey