“We need a new national focus on helping everyone stay mentally well, including those affected by COVID-19, backed-up by funding for councils to spend with local partners such as the voluntary and community sector, on meeting their communities’ mental wellbeing needs."
Responding to an NHS Confederation report on mental health services facing rising demand due to coronavirus, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“People’s mental wellbeing will play a crucial role in every aspect of the next phase of the pandemic. This includes schools reopening, workers returning from furlough, people who have been shielding, and in dealing with the economic and housing consequences of coronavirus, as well as planning for possible further spikes in infections.
“We need a new national focus on helping everyone stay mentally well, including those affected by COVID-19, backed-up by funding for councils to spend with local partners such as the voluntary and community sector, on meeting their communities’ mental wellbeing needs.
“This should include a shift in focus and funding away from treating mental ill-health and towards a locally-led approach to promoting people’s mental wellbeing throughout their lives, to help prevent more serious problems from developing, alongside earlier intervention and targeted support for those who need it.”
The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.
It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.