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Liberal Democrats champion Mental Health

July 20, 2017 2:30 PM

Liberal Democrats on City of York Council are seeking to make champion of mental health in the city.

The provision of mental health services has been gaining more and more coverage in recent years as politicians of all parties are beginning to recognise its importance.

At this evening's Council meeting Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Cullwick is putting forward a motion to highlight mental health issues in York.

The motion highlights the facts that:

  • Mental health issues will affect 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives.

  • Over 5,000 people in the Yorkshire and Humber region could be affected by mental health issues in any one year.

  • The link between mental health and life expectancy, with live expectancy being shortened by 15 - 20 years in some cases.

  • The link between mental health and housing, employment, family problems and debt.

  • The need to treat mental health with the same level of priority as physical health.

    Councillor Cullwick's proposes three specific actions for City of York Council to take as part of an effort to improve mental health services.

    The Health and Wellbeing Board is asked to work with the Clinical Commissioning Group, the Mental Health Trust and the voluntary sector, to improve provision for people with mental health conditions - including the provisions of the Mental Health Concordat.

    The Mental Health Concordat is a national agreement between bodies involved in health, policing, social care, housing, local government and the third sector. The concordat sets out how organisations can work together to ensure people get the help they need when dealing with a mental health crisis.

    The motion also seeks to support Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care as she champions mental health issues, and asks the council to write to the Secretary of State for Health to ask him to ensure mental health is given parity of esteem and properly funded.

    Commenting, Cllr Chris Cullwick said:

    "It is vitally important that we treat mental health with the same level of severity as we do physical health. We need parity of esteem for mental health - something the Liberal Democrats have long been championing.

    "Parity of esteem was enshrined in law when Liberal Democrats were in Government, but we still need to make it a reality for patients.

    "I welcome what City of York Council is already doing on this issue, in particular by putting £200,000 into mental health this year. But we need to continue working towards better mental health services.

    "That is why I'm asking the council to work with partners across the York area to support the Mental Health Concordat, give it's backing to Cllr Runciman to champion mental health care and write to the Secretary of State for Health asking for parity of esteem to be properly funded."