Camden partners join forces to invest in mental health prevention

Thursday 18 December

Camden Council, Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust have today, announced plans for a new prevention fund to ensure more people get more support to manage mental health problems early on.

The £750,000 pot - equally funded by all three organisations - is a clear demonstration of the commitment to supporting people with mental health problems to stay well and live independently for as long as possible, right across the borough.

Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council said:

"Mental health problems affect all areas of people's lives and shifting our focus from managing crisis to investing in prevention will help to ensure people are supported to get into work and play an independent and active role in their community.

"We're facing massive cuts in central government funding and are being forced to reduce our budget by £70 million by 2018. We have therefore had to fundamentally rethink the way we provide support to all our residents, especially the most vulnerable. This means doing things differently and planning for the long-term.

"The extra investment will help Camden move away from focusing on crisis support to prevention - supporting people to stay well and live independently for as long as possible."

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I), the local mental health trust, has also contributed £250,000 to support the initiative:

Wendy Wallace, C&I's Chief Executive, said:

"We are delighted to be working in partnership on this project.  It is so important to provide a whole systems approach to helping help people live independently.  Working together with our partners we can achieve this for people across the Borough.  This is money being well spent to ensure independence for those people who need it most."

Earlier this week (15 December) Camden Council also made a tangible commitment to tackling the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems by signing the national 'Time to Change' pledge.

Councillor Patricia Callaghan, Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said:

"Camden has one of the highest rates of mental health problems in the country, and figures suggest this is set to increase. We are changing the way we work to ensure that mental health problems are treated as seriously and equally as physical health problems.

"The new mental health prevention fund is an innovative way of doing this, together with our partners, and supporting people to stay well and live independently for as long as possible.

"I am delighted to say that the Council has also signed the national Time to Change pledge. This is a real demonstration of our continued commitment to developing understanding and shifting attitudes."

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said:

"It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employers and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and companies like Camden Council are taking a lead.

"Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."

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