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Urgent South London Mental Health Prevention Summit June 2020

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust jointly with local authorities Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark are hosting an Urgent Mental Health Prevention Summit to address how we can work together to protect our communities’ mental health as result of Covid-19.

The virtual Summit will address the wider impact on our communities’ mental wellbeing as the country emerges from Covid-19. Together with our partners, the Summit will aim to set out the key principles behind a 12-month targeted programme of prevention aimed at people who now find the pressure of Covid-19 is having an impact on their mental wellbeing.

Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “Covid-19 has upended life as we know it. The mental wellbeing of many people would have been impacted directly by Covid-19, whether through the virus itself, the impact on jobs or the economy, self-isolation or the tragedy of losing a loved one.

“We also know that Covid-19 is having a disproportionate impact on our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. By working together now, we can prevent tens of thousands of people’s lives being affected by mental illness.”

David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “We invite our partners from across south London to come together for this urgent, vital, Summit. We want to reach people who may not previously have accessed mental health services, but now find that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their wellbeing.

“We look forward to working closely with our local authorities and partner organisations. By working together now, we can prevent tens of thousands of people’s lives being affected by mental illness.”

Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council said: “This is such a crucial time for this summit, as across Croydon amidst ongoing uncertainty over Covid-19 and after twelve weeks of lockdown, already existing pressures on our services supporting mental health are growing, and now is absolutely the right time to be putting prevention at the heart of everything we do.”

Councillor Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Council Leader, said: “Lambeth council is dedicated to working, with its partners, to address structural inequalities in the borough, and addressing the disproportionate impact on BAME communities of Covid-19. This is an important initiative in the face of an unprecedented crisis.”

Councillor Chris Best, Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Now, more than ever, the mental health of our residents needs to be monitored and protected. As events occur, and people’s situations change we need to be at the forefront of developing and taking preventative measure to ensure health and wellbeing. Lewisham welcomes this initiative from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and we look forward to playing a full part in developing and collaborating on the Action Plan over the next year.”

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “It is vital that we treat mental health with the same level of importance as physical health – and the urgency of this summit is in recognition of the immense impact that the virus and lockdown has had on people’s lives. It has inevitably exacerbated the poor mental health that many people were already suffering, and is now triggering mental health problems in some people for the first time.

“In Southwark, we had already prioritised mental health support in new and existing services, remotely opening the mental health support ‘Nest’ during lockdown as a bespoke service to young people during a terribly difficult time for them. We are also the first council to commit to ensuring that 100% of young people can access the support they need, and our strategy to prioritise all those suffering mental ill health is clearly outlined in the council’s plan.”

Research shows unemployment, income decline, and unmanageable debts brought by economic downturns are significantly associated with poor mental wellbeing, increased rates of common mental disorders, substance-related disorders, and suicidal behaviours.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics has reported that people’s anxiety levels have doubled from what they were pre-Covid-19.

The Urgent Mental Health Prevention Summit is taking place on June 2, from 2.30 to 4.30pm. It will be made available to the public to watch.

For more information please email

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