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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Urgent south London Covid-19 preventing a mental health crisis summit

Urgent south London Covid-19 preventing a mental health crisis summit

The South London Mental Health and Community Partnership, together with our partners including local authorities and community organisations, are holding an urgent virtual summit to work together to protect our communities’ mental health as result of Covid-19.

The summit will help to shape our plans to meet the needs of people who may be at risk of becoming mentally unwell due to the impact of Covid-19. It will mark the start of a major listening campaign South London Listens where together our organisations will reach out to the communities we serve to help co-produce a two-year action plan, set to be published in Spring 2021.

Following the success of two virtual summits held earlier this year, the south London Covid-19 Preventing Mental-ill Health Taskforce has been created.

Ann Beasley, Chair of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust said: “The Covid-19 pandemic will mean many members of our community need support with their wellbeing and mental health. Therefore it is vital for our partners, including local councils, charities, church groups and community organisations to work closely together to find out exactly how we can support and enable our communities to remain well and know how to seek help if it is needed.”

The Taskforce is made up of representatives from South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, as well as our CCG partners, local authorities, Healthwatch, Public Health England, Citizens UK and experts by experience.

Vanessa Ford, Chief Executive of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust said: “It is vital that we support and protect our south London community by working closely with our partners. I am very proud of the work we already do together to support people with their mental health, and this summit presents a golden opportunity to drive forward our ambitions to help wherever possible prevent our local population from becoming ill in the first place through early community support, and help our communities to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health.”

Dr Ranti Lawumi, Chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) EVOLVE staff network at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust said: “Now, more than ever, it is vital to work closely with our communities, many of whom are facing economic hardship and anxiety issues as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, we must protect our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, who we know are being adversely affected by systemic inequalities.”

The summit will address the progress made since our previous summits, explore the future of Covid-19 and mental health trends and hear from people with lived experience of mental ill health.

Beverley Wong, member of South London Citizens and Taskforce member, said: "Good mental wellbeing is important to our communities because without it our struggles can multiply. South London Citizens is a member-led organisation made up of schools, faith organisations, universities and charities. We are proud to be working with the mental health trusts and local authorities involved in this initiative to ensure that community voices are at the heart of the solution.”

Millie Banerjee, Independent Chair of South West London Health and Care Partnership, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work our organisation is doing by working in partnership with our local mental health Trusts and our community partners to help support the wellbeing and mental health of the south London community. This is an essential and valuable piece of work in an unprecedented time of challenge during the Covid pandemic.”


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