News Release from City of York Council Labour Group
Councillors shine light on York’s mental health challenge
A marked decline in mental health during and since the Covid pandemic will be discussed when councillors meet this week.
York is considered to have distinct problems in some areas of mental health support, says Labour, on top of a general shortfall in resourcing that is affecting all parts of the country.
Labour councillor Conrad Whitcroft will propose Labour’s motion. He said:
“Mental health is every bit as important as physical health and has suffered the same fate as other public services with austerity and funding settlements that don’t keep up with inflation. The problem is compounded by an increased need for support post-Covid coinciding with public and voluntary sector support services to those in need being cut back or cut away altogether.
“York’s ranking at the bottom of the national table for public services funding makes matters even worse. It’s a bleak situation but we must speak up and argue not only for more resourcing, but also for changes in culture within mental health support services that can improve people’s experiences and which don’t cost money. For example, we need proper safeguarding plans for those being discharged from services, the absence of which is currently putting lives at risk”.
Cllr Whitcroft’s motion calls for a number of actions including working with local healthcare partners and other bodies to improve the way mental health support is provided, and to encourage systems that ensure in-patients have a mandatory safety plan on returning to the community.
Cllr Whitcroft will also ask councillors to express their disappointment at the shelving of planned reforms to the Mental Health Act, after six years of efforts from campaigners and professionals to end the inappropriate detention of different groups of people against their will.
“The abandoning of these reforms was hugely disappointing and a big step backwards”, added Cllr Whitcroft.
“While we may be limited in influencing the Government’s plans on mental health nationally, there is a lot we can do locally starting with the council and how it commissions services, ensuring we consult widely with those that should be having an input”.
Cllr Conrad Whitcroft
Tel: 07746 699949
Notes to Editors:
- Healthwatch 2023 report on the local mental health crisis: Breaking-Point-Mental-Health-Crisis-Care-June-2023-updated.pdf (healthwatchyork.co.uk)