On Thursday 10th December, I organised and chaired a meeting on behalf of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health, a London Labour roundtable discussion on how to improve mental health provision in the capital. The meeting consisted of Mental Health Champions such as myself, as well as others from Lambeth (Cllr Ed Davie), Newham (Cllr Neil Wilson), Barking and Dagenham (Cllr Edna Fergus), Ealing (Cllr Abdullah Gulaid), and Camden (Cllr Maeve McCormack).
The meeting heard from Andy Bell and Emma Bailey from the Centre of Mental Health, on the benefits of signing up to the mental health challenge http://www.mentalhealthchallenge.org.uk/ who highlighted Labour Councils that still haven't signed up.
It was agreed that all of the Labour Mental Health Champions in London would approach those remaining Labour Councils to ensure that all 21 London Labour Councils would sign up to the Mental Health Challenge, publicising the benefits through articles and blog posts, as well as working closely with our Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and Labour GLA candidates, where the campaign will be called #Target21.
Finally we discussed how we could work closer together and share good practice, when it came to delivering mental health provision in our respective boroughs. This included having good partnership working with our NHS providers, housing associations, and very importantly the local voluntary and community sector. I mentioned my close working relationship with the Lewisham Mental Health Connection who are a forum of voluntary sector providers and service users. With my support they organise an annual Lewisham Mental Health Conference, that allows service users, 191 of which attended in September, to highlight what local mental health services should be commissioned.
The next meeting was agreed to be held on Tuesday 9th February. If you would like to get involved in #Target21 campaign or contact me about mental health provision in Lewisham, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @jgslater.
Cllr Jonathan Slater
Mental Health Champion for Lewisham