Citizens UK members have made improving access to mental health services our top priority at our 2018 Annual Civil Society Summit. In fact, mental health is a concern for our chapters, institutions and members across the country. This is not surprising: statistics show that 1 in 3 people will suffer from some kind of mental illness in their life.
Poor mental health affects people from deprived communities the hardest because they are less likely to be able to access adequate support. For example, looked after children and young people transitioning to adult services are at a greater risk of falling through the net.
Listen to Carina Crawford Khan, our Lead Organiser on mental health, describing our plans:
What we’re doing
Our chapters have already started campaigning on this issue and winning change at a local level. Citizens Cymru Wales leaders have worked with colleges in Cardiff to increase the number of mental health counsellor sessions available to schools, whereas leaders from Merton Citizens in South London secured a commitment from their Local Authority that they will increase funding for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services.
Mental Health in the North East
Meanwhile, leaders from our Tyne and Wear chapter are running a Commission on Mental Health, Wellbeing and Public Life in the North East. The role of the Commissioners is to engage with the testimonies and evidence brought forward by over 400 people about their experiences of accessing mental health services with the aim of exploring and advocating for possible solutions.
If you or your institution would to find out more about the commission, email Tyne and Wear organiser Sara.Bryson@citizensuk.org
Tyne and Wear’s Commissioners meet for a public hearing in Durham.
Parents and Children Together (Mumspace)
Another successful project we are expanding is Parents and Children Together (PACT), which hosts a Mums space for young first-time parents and their children. PACT is aimed at building confidence amongst parents, addressing both health and mental health needs by increasing their awareness of how to access health services and parent networks.
If you or your institution would like to be involved in our mental health organising work, please email Carina.Crawford-Rolt@citizensuk.org