Yesterday, for the first time local authority mental health member champions received training in becoming leaders in mental health promotion. An event organised by Centre for Mental Health with support from Public Health England gave council members evidence and information about activities that can improve wellbeing, reduce inequalities, and help prevent mental health problems in their local communities. The workshop took place in London. A second workshop will be held in Birmingham in March.

The workshops have been organised as part of the Mental Health Challenge for Local Authorities, a scheme led by seven national charities that helps local councils to champion mental health in their communities. Some 89 local councils in England have now signed up to the Challenge, each with its own ‘member champion’ for mental health.

Centre for Mental Health deputy chief executive Andy Bell said:

We are delighted to be working with Public Health England to support local councillors to lead the way in promoting mental health and reducing inequalities. Local authorities have a vital role to play in preventing poor mental health and promoting wellbeing in their communities. This training will give local councillors the knowledge they need to bring about change in people’s lives.

Gregor Henderson, National lead for mental health, Public Health England, said:

Mental health is something that should be on everyone’s agenda. It’s great news that we are working with partners towards having a mental health champion within each local authority. This training is one key part of supporting local authorities in their work on improving the mental health of their communities.

Learn more about the Mental Health Challenge or follow @MH_challenge on Twitter.