Cllr Jim Dickson and Cllr Danny Adilypour, Cabinet Members for Health and Social Care
On Saturday 10 October, we will be marking World Mental Health Day, with this year’s theme being ‘mental health for all’, highlighting the effects that the pandemic has had on people’s mental wellbeing.
A survey by the mental health charity Mind has found that two thirds of adults and three quarters of young people with existing mental health problems have experience worsening mental health over the course of the pandemic. One in five adults with no previous experience have also described their mental health as poor, showing the impact that the pandemic and the lockdown. Yet as hard as dealing with the outbreak and the lockdown was, the challenges ahead are much greater, with more local lockdowns a growing possibility as the number of Coronavirus cases rise.
It is also a time to remind ourselves of the long-running crisis in mental health services nationally, with many young people waiting for months to be seen. Government funding for the Early Intervention Grant has been cut nationally by over £600 million since 2013, with public health funding being cut as well.
In Lambeth, our mental health services which have been transformed for the better over the past decade will need to adapt still further as the trauma Covid-19 has wrought on the community reveals itself. Isolation will have touched many, financial hardship will affect more over the coming months alongside the related problems of relationship breakdown and addiction. A step change in prevention to increase individual mental health resilience and the adapt our services will be needed across our Living Well Alliance. A taskforce in which we will partner with South London and Maudsley will lead a conversation with residents on what the community needs. We are determined to understand what our residents are going through and addressing their needs, which is why our Health and Wellbeing Board has previously listened to residents and community groups that expressed the suffering that they have felt over the past months, particularly in the case of those who have been shielding or living alone. This month’s meeting will be focused on loneliness and understanding how we could work better with other stakeholders, particularly the voluntary and community sector, to improve the livelihoods our communities.
You might need more support. A mental health crisis might mean you feel like you’re unable to cope, that you could harm yourself or others, or that you or someone you’re close to are having frightening thoughts. If you feel like you need urgent support, Lambeth Together have a list of resources here. If it’s urgent you can call:
- South London and Maudsley NHS Trust has a 24-hour mental health crisis line
Phone: 0800 731 2864 (Option 1)or visit slam.nhs.uk/crisis
- The national NHS website has advice on dealing with a mental health emergency or crisis. You can call the NHS helpline on 111.
- Samaritans has a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. Call them on 116 123.