Local councils championing mental health

Councils can have a significant impact on their local area by promoting better mental health.

In light of this, the Centre and six other mental health charities created the Mental Health Challenge. The Challenge is a growing network, begun in Dorset by Cllr Michael Bevan, where councillors of different political persuasions across England share ideas, seek advice and receive support with the aim of enhancing the mental health of their local communities.

Every local area is different. Every 'member champion' will have their own unique priorities. The Challenge seeks to recognise their interests, hopes and concerns by supporting them to introduce effective interventions and to speak up for mental health.

Learn more and see if your council have signed up to the Challenge.

I am delighted to be part of this immensely important initiative - to challenge the stigma which still sadly exists around mental health issues, and to ensure all our residents have access to the best possible services.

Cllr Helen Dennis, Southwark

As a local authority we have a vital role to play in raising the profile of mental health and working with our partners to help residents access the right support at the right time.

Cllr Steve Forster, Hart District Council

Local leadership is crucial to make mental health the priority it should be in every community in England.

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health

At a time when the World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the second biggest cause of ill health worldwide by 2020, it is vital that local authorities do more to recognise the true impact of mental health problems in their communities. We want to encourage councillors to sign up, learn more about mental health, and provide a voice for people whose needs are often ignored.

Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive of Mind