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Friday, 21 May 2021

Covid-19: Urgent community summit to prevent a mental health crisis

Covid-19: Urgent community summit to prevent a mental health crisis

Community leaders join forces with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust to take urgent action to prevent a mental health crisis caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

On Wednesday 16 June 2021, community leaders, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and the South West London Integrated Care System will be hosting an urgent community summit between 6-8pm to share the top priorities for a two-year action plan. 

At the summit, South London NHS Mental Health Trusts, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and NHS Commissioners will all be asked to pledge their commitment to take specific actions  by members of our communities.   

More than 5,700 people from across all boroughs in South London will have helped shape the action plan as part of the South London Listens campaign that began in November 2020. 

Whether it is dealing with the virus itself, being impacted by unemployment, feeling isolated, or the tragedy of losing a loved one, we have all had a very personal experience of living through this pandemic, and we know that it is not over yet. 

In 2020, the UK experienced the most significant decline in GDP since the 1920s, and during the first three months of this year, 21 per cent of adults experienced depression, more than double the level in 2019. 67 per cent of young people believe that the pandemic will have a long-term adverse effect on their mental health.  

For some of us, the impact of the pandemic may be short-lived, but for others, Covid-19 will cast a long shadow as we begin to rebuild our lives.  

South London Listens priorities and two-year action plan 

On 10 November 2020, the South London Mental Health and Community Partnership working with Local Authorities and the South East and South West London Integrated Care System, launched South London Listens in partnership with the charity CitizensUK.  

This four-month listening campaign was a call to action to our diverse communities to help shape the priorities and co-produce a two-year action plan. The response from the community has been nothing short of outstanding. Since last year, 350 community leaders have brought their communities together to talk about their personal experiences and co-design solutions to be delivered in partnership.  

More than 5,700 people have shared their stories and ideas. At the 16 June Summit, Community Leaders will present their ‘asks’ around four key priority areas that have significantly impacted their community’s mental health since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. These priorities will be tackled through a two-year partnership approach with communities and statutory organisations: social isolation, work and wages, young people and parental mental health, and access to services.   

Ann Beasley, Chair of South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust said: "I have been moved and inspired by the stories and ideas shared as part of South London Listens. Collaboration is the key to building lasting solutions, both with our partners in south London and hand in hand with our communities."

Millie Banerjee, Chair of South West London Integrated Care System said: “This unique collaboration between our communities, South London's three mental health Trusts, local authorities, faith groups and third sector organisations means we can now act on the issues that our communities have told us are important to them. That’s why I will be attending the Summit on Wednesday 16 June and would encourage you to join us!"

This summit marks the beginning of a two-year mental ill health prevention and recovery programme to turn the tide and help create strong, resilient and healthy communities.   

Vanessa Ford, Chief Executive of South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust said:  "As an important anchor institution in south west London, I am determined to continue working in partnership with our communities. I will be attending the summit on 16 June, ready to pledge to act on the issues that will have the biggest impact on our communities and to help rebuild lives.” 

Register today  

Join your community by registering for this ground-breaking summit today.   

The summit will be held on Zoom on Wednesday 16 June 2021 from 6pm to 8pm. You can register at www.citizensuk.org/listeningsummit 

 

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