This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we are highlighting that we have signed up to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health from Public Health England (PHE) to help tackle poor mental health.

Working closely with PHE, we are making significant steps towards promoting good mental health and preventing mental health problems.

One in six adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime. This is influenced by the environment in which we are born, grow, live and work, meaning many of these problems can be prevented.

Having good mental health is important because it can help us to be more resilient, feel good and function well, have more positive relationships with those around us and deal with difficult times now and in the future.

The Prevention Concordat marks the first time agencies across the community and care sectors have come together to make prevention a priority for mental health. So far a number of organisations representing all sectors have signed up and committed to action.

The commitment from us includes raising residents’ awareness of Five Ways to Wellbeing and training a group of voluntary wellbeing supporters for staff.

Director of Public Health Caroline Dimond said: “I am so pleased that the Council has agreed to join the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

“With more of us struggling with poor mental health and wellbeing, it is so important that we work collaboratively with our system partners to prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health.”

“Promoting good mental health is everyone’s responsibility and can only be achieved if organisations – including local authorities, NHS trusts, businesses, local communities, and religious groups – work together at local and national level.”

Lily Makurah, national lead for public mental health at PHE, said: “We’re delighted that Torbay Council has joined the growing list of organisations signing up to our Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

“This is designed to help communities promote good mental health and prevent mental health problems. Through local and national action across sectors, we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing and reducing stigma for everyone.”

By signing up to the concordat, we are not only showing public leadership in addressing mental health problems in local communities; they are also putting effective prevention planning arrangements in place, using resources from PHE.

As well as recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, this represents a movement away from stigma and fear, and towards achieving a fairer and more equal society.

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