Tories oppose taking-up Local Authority Mental Health Challenge

The Local Authority Mental Health Challenge, a government-funded initiative supported by seven mental health charities that sets out ten actions local authorities could take to champion improved mental health in the borough, was yesterday rejected by Barnet’s Conservative councillors at the Adults & Safeguarding Committee meeting. The Conservatives voted against a motion put forward by Labour Adult Social Care spokesperson Cllr Reema Patel to take the challenge up. 

Tory councillors also refused to appoint an elected member as a Mental Health Champion for Barnet Council as part of the actions set out in the Mental Health Challenge.

At the committee Cllr Reema Patel spoke of the importance of political leadership in encouraging the Council and those across Barnet to ‘take a proactive approach to the promotion of improved and increased mental health, the tackling of stigma and discrimination and narrowing mental health’, and slammed Tory councillors for adopting a narrow-minded approach to health - placing party politics above the needs and priorities of residents in the local area. 

Those local authorities which join and sign up to the Mental Health Challenge are in receipt of support and advice from a range of partner organisations. The challenge was initially set up by Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal College of Psychiatrists and Young Minds – and it is funded by the Department of Health and NHS England through the voluntary sector Strategic Partnership Programme.

Labour's Adults & Safeguarding Spokesperson, Cllr Reema Patel said: “Better mental health continues to be an important priority for our citizens and the council should be at the forefront of championing this agenda. Placing party politics over such an important issue demonstrates that this Tory council simply does not care about  the well being of its residents.”

Ends.

Notes: 
1. Details of the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge:

http://www.mentalhealthchallenge.org.uk/the-challenge/ 

2. A copy of Cllr Patel’s Member’s Item at Adults & Safeguarding Committee:

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s23582/Members%20Item%20-%20Cllr.%20Patel%20-%20Mental%20Health%20Challenge.pdf 

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For further details please contact:
Cllr Reema Patel: cllr.r.patel@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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