SUPPORT for those facing challenges with their mental health and wellbeing is to be championed by Barrow Borough Council as the authority adopts The Mental Health Challenge.
People have been urged to be kind to one another - and to offer time and a listening ear to anyone suffering with their mental health - following a discussion on the topic by members of Barrow’s full council.
In adopting The Mental Health Challenge, the council now formally pledges to support positive mental health in the community, including in local schools, neighbourhoods and workplaces, as well as working to tackle discrimination and to reduce mental health inequalities in the community.
The motion, which was proposed by Councillor Iain Mooney, Barrow Borough Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, was adopted unanimously.
Cllr Mooney said: “As councillors, we can play a vital role in supporting each other as well as those in our communities who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.
“I hope that we can make a real change by placing awareness and support at the centre of all we do - both within our organisation and outside of it.”
The Mental Health Challenge is an initiative for local authorities run by the Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, AMHP, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal College of Psychiatrists and YoungMinds.
It has already been adopted by 35 councils across the country so far.
While Cllr Mooney is now the lead member for health and wellbeing, Barrow Borough Council will also identify a member of staff to act as the lead officer for mental health as part of its commitment to The Mental Health Challenge.
Councillor Beverly Morgan said: “Working towards positive mental wellbeing is important to all of us. There is so much we can do to promote it, de-stigmatise it and to effect real change throughout our communities.
“The Mental Health Challenge will help to focus our efforts on change by making sure mental health is considered within everything we do and in every decision we make.
“The time to tackle the inequalities created by mental health issues is now. This is an excellent motion and I’m proud it has received unanimous approval from across the council.”