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County to sign up to Mental Health Challenge

Work to support positive mental health and reduce inequalities caused by mental health issues could be taking an important step forward in Staffordshire.

On world Mental Health Day (October 10), Staffordshire County Council has announced it is looking to sign up to the Local Authorities Mental Health Challenge, which ensures councils support positive mental health in their communities and work to reduce inequalities.

If agreed by the county council’s cabinet on October 18, Councillor Ann Edgeller will become the county’s first ever ‘Mental Health Champion.’ Her role will be to ensure the county council continues to support mental health issues, and champion mental health causes.

This work builds on Staffordshire’s mental health strategy, which works towards breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health, and support those who are experiencing problems.

One in four people in the county will suffer from mental health problems during their lifetime, with 12% of Staffordshire adults aged 18-64 and 9% of children aged 5-16 experiencing a common mental health disorder.

County Councillor Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:

“With one in four people being affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, it is hugely important they get the support they need at home, at work and in their local community.

“We are already doing some great work here in Staffordshire any by signing up to the Mental Health Challenge we are reaffirming our commitment to tackling the inequalities that many people with mental health issues can face.”

County Councillor Ann Edgeller said:

“I am thrilled at being named as the county’s mental health champion, after having worked with, and having people in my family who suffer from mental health issues. I am very pleased that the county council has taken up the Mental Health Challenge because mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone to achieve the county council’s aims and objectives.”