City of London Corporation and London Borough of Hackney first in London to sign up to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

To mark World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October), the City of London Corporation and London Borough of Hackney have signed up to the ‘Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health’, a national agreement to help improve mental health and wellbeing for residents.

They are the first governing bodies in London to do this and are supported by wider health partners in the local area, including NHS City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Healthwatch Hackney, Healthwatch City of London, East London Foundation Trust (ELFT), as well as voluntary and community groups.

The ‘Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health’ outlines a series of actions that both authorities, NHS health partners and local organisations can take to ensure there is better collaboration to improve mental health care, promotion and prevention.

This week also sees the launch of ‘Every Mind Matters’, the first national NHS campaign to encourage adults to be more aware of their mental health and wellbeing, offering practical self-care tips and guidance. The online tool which is available on the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website can help individuals discover simple steps to deal with stress and anxiety, boost mood, improve sleep and feel more in control, as well as flagging when more support may be needed.

The City Corporation and Hackney welcome the launch of ‘Every Mind Matters’ as they are already taking action to promote positive mental health and wellbeing amongst their residents and workforce. There are a large number of services and support available locally to residents experiencing, or at risk of mental ill health, which are commissioned by the two Local Authorities and NHS City & Hackney CCG and delivered by mental health providers including Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust and East London Foundation Trust, as well as voluntary and community groups. For the significant local worker population, support is offered through initiatives such as the Business Healthy network.

For example, ‘Five to Thrive’ is a local initiative, based on the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing. These five simple steps can help local residents improve their emotional health and wellbeing. In the City and Hackney different health organisations, schools and community projects have used it as a way to connect people and communities, and improve mental health wellbeing.

Talk Changes offers free and confidential NHS ‘talking therapies’ for adults in City and Hackney who are struggling to cope with low mood, anxiety or depression. It is one of the best performing ‘talking therapies’ services in London, helps more than 6,000 people every year and has recovery rates well above national averages. Talking therapies involve talking to a trained professional to help overcome negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes. Appointments can be booked directly online without needing to see a GP first. Access is quick - most patients wait no more than two weeks for their initial assessment, with a treatment plan agreed and commencing shortly after. The service is for adults who are registered with a City & Hackney GP.

East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) also runs a Walk-in Crisis Cafe in The Raybould Centre in Homerton Row from 6pm to 9pm weekdays and midday to 4pm at weekends. It is free and run by mental health professionals who provide advice and support and are always available for a chat. In the Square Mile, Dragon Café in the City offers a free and safe space for visitors to release the pressure and look after their mental and physical wellbeing.

Matthew Bell, elected Member for Farringdon Within and the City of London Corporation’s Mental Health Champion, said:

“A collaborative approach across the City of London and Hackney brings about many benefits. Signing the Prevention Concordat helps partners to share their expertise and boosts ongoing efforts to prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health among our local populations, including those living, working and learning in the City of London.”

Cllr Feryal Clark, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Leisure and Parks in Hackney, and Chair of Hackney’s Health and Wellbeing Board said:

“The mental health and wellbeing of Hackney residents is a key priority for me; promoting good mental wellbeing is something we can all contribute to. Signing up to the Concordat means that we can work better as a partnership, ensuring that both Local Authorities and our partners focus on preventing residents from developing mental health issues in the future.”

Rhiannon England, Clinical Lead for mental health at NHS City and Hackney CCG has said:

“The mental health and wellbeing of our residents is as important as their physical health. We want to take this opportunity on World Mental Health Day to highlight our dedication to ensuring we provide the best possible support and services in City and Hackney by all working together. We are proud of the steps we have already taken to improve mental health care, promotion and prevention in the local area and it will continue to be a priority to all those involved.”

If you are worried about your mental health and wellbeing, you can talk to your GP about your concerns and they will discuss support available with you.

More information on the campaigns and services mentioned can be found here:

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