Public Health Leaders Call for Action on Mental Health

Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day and Doncaster is one of eight local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber saying mental health matters by committing to the principles of a Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

The Concordat describes a shared commitment to preventing mental health problems and to promoting good mental health. Developed by a partnership of statutory and voluntary sector organisations, and in conjunction with people who have experienced mental health problems, the Concordat calls for a range of national and local action on mental health, including:  

  • Transformation of the health system so it has prevention-focused leadership, enabling help and support to be provided much earlier and therefore avoid mental health crisis
  • Collaboration to improve the public's mental health
  • Drawing on the expertise of people with experience of mental health problems and for the wider community to identify solutions and promote equality
  • Building the capacity and capability across the health and care workforce

Corinne Harvey, Public Health Consultant in Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Good mental health is essential for everybody to thrive; it helps us deal with life’s stresses, it makes us more productive in education, in work and at home. It enables us to build better relationships at home and in our community and good mental health is also associated with better physical health.

“Sadly, unlike physical wellbeing, mental health is often taken for granted until it becomes a problem.  The Prevention Concordat seeks to change the approach to mental health, from one that only focuses on those who are unwell at times of highest need to one that also seeks to improve mental wellbeing for all. By doing this, we hope to increase understanding of mental health problems and reduce the stigma and discrimination that is still experienced by many.”

Local authorities will be working to adopt whole population approaches, that not only strengthen individual and community resilience but also address the wider determinants of mental health, such as housing and employment and tackle stigma and discrimination. In addition, there will be targeted work with groups at higher risk of mental health problems at all ages.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council, said: “Mental health really matters and is just as important as our physical health. We already work closely with health partners across the borough, by committing to the Public Health England Prevention Concordat we aim to further increase local understanding of mental health and reduce the stigma that can be often associated with it.”

  • Category: Health & wellbeing
Last updated: 10 October 2018 09:00:09