Woman speaking to mental health counsellor

South Kesteven District Council signs up for Mental Health Challenge

South Kesteven District Council is to sign up to the national Local Authority Mental Health Challenge as a public commitment to supporting residents’ wellbeing and wellness.

A motion, proposed by the authority’s Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities, Councillor Annie Mason, stressed the need to put the mental wellbeing of everyone in the community at the forefront of the council’s agenda.

It was approved unanimously at a meeting of South Kesteven’s full council.

A detailed report supporting the motion highlighted the additional pressures that the pandemic has placed on residents as thoughts turn to the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Kesteven District Council has already created a mental health working party of cross-party members and officers that meets every eight weeks.

Mental wellbeing will be among the priorities in council decision-making and policy across all its areas of responsibility, including housing, community safety, engagement, planning and leisure.

Councillor Mason, who will take on the role of the council’s Mental Health Champion, said:

“Mental health and wellbeing are critical to us all and we are only too aware of how badly the pandemic has affected people.

“Mental health issues for adults and children would remain the responsibility of our health partners, but as a district council, we have a crucial role to play in improving and supporting everyone in our community and working with our communities to promote positive wellbeing.

“It is brilliant that councillors from all parties are getting involved in taking this forward.”

The authority’s approach will be to work with partners within the community and other organisations.

These include Lincolnshire County Council and the National Health Service, where they will feed into Lincolnshire’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Board, which already plays an active role in the district’s health and wellbeing.

The Mental Health Challenge began in 2013 to encourage and support councils in England to champion mental health in their communities and has brought together 120 local councils, with elected member Mental Health Champions in each authority.

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