Leeds ,

Leeds celebrates its commitment to mental health on World Mental Health Day

Leeds is demonstrating the city’s commitment to mental health on World Mental Health Day (10 October) with a day of celebration of new funding and services to help those most at risk of poor mental health.

Two newly commissioned services will focus on the twin challenges of firstly helping to prevent mental health problems occurring and secondly getting the right support at the right time for those with existing mental health problems.

Mentally Healthy Leeds is a public mental health service commissioned by the council and led by Touchstone, delivered in partnership with Community Links, TCV and Oblong. It will target the 10 percent most deprived areas of Leeds with a focus on preventing mental health problems by helping people keep mentally well and reducing stigma, social isolation and discrimination.

The Community Based Mental Health Service is a new approach for the city involving a network of 15 charities and third sector organisations, led by Touchstone and including Leeds Mind and Community Links, all working together to help people who are already currently unwell due to their mental health.

This service will involve a range of community-based support, including 1-1 and peer group support and also helping people overcome social isolation. It includes a volunteer be-friending service for those who are worried their mental health is deteriorating and more intensive tailored support for those who are experiencing more serious mental health problems. The new service will include 7-days a week support and some evening support.

With the NHS, third sector, businesses and council working in partnership, Leeds is becoming known as a city where mental health stigma is challenged and positive support is provided to those who need it.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for adults and health, said:

“We know that good mental health can prevent a range of other health problems, that’s why it’s so important to our public health strategy for the wider population.

“We value people’s mental health equally with their physical health and we want people with mental health problems to be confident they will get the support they need without experiencing prejudice or discrimination.

“The council listened to what people want from a mental health service and we are delighted that these contracts will be delivered by teams with real expertise in the subject and with strong ties to local communities.

“Of course, the breadth of activity in Leeds on World Mental Health Day highlights how strong the passion is across the city to make a change to people’s lives – tackling mental health stigma and doing our best to support all those with poor mental health.”

Alison Lowe, Chief Executive of Touchstone, said:

By using a range of community development approaches including peer support, volunteering, groups and activities as well as awareness-raising activity, we will both help individuals and also communities at risk.”

A launch event for Mentally Healthy Leeds will take place on World Mental Health Day, Wednesday 10 October. The event is one of a wide range of activities across the city, showing how wide the range of support is for mental health. Speakers include Councillor Rebecca Charlwood; Tom Riordan, Chief Executive Officer, Leeds City Council and Victoria Eaton, Chief Officer and Consultant in Public Health.

Other events include:

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and British Transport Police working in partnership to raise awareness of MindMate, a Leeds based mental health resource for young people. They will be backing the Young Minds #HelloYellow campaign by handing out yellow wrist bands at Leeds train station from 3.30 to 6pm on 10 October.

A Thriving Minds conference, organised by Leeds-based Thrive Law, at The Mansion in Roundhay which will raise awareness of work Leeds Mind and Mindful Employer do to support employers and employees with mental health in the workplace.


Notes to Editors

The Community Based Mental Health Service will be launched in April 2019.

The Mentally Healthy Leeds launch event is at St Cyprian with St James, Coldcotes Avenue, Harehills, Leeds, LS9 6ND from 1pm until 3pm. You can register to attend at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mentally-healthy-leeds-launch-tickets-50362140518?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Mentally Healthy Leeds can be contacted at 41-47 Cromwell Mount, Leeds, LS9 7ST; via email at mhl@touchstonesupport.org.uk and telephone on 0113 248 4880. More information is available at: