The prevalence of poor mental health seems to be growing yearly - particularly around mild or low-level difficulties. This trend is seen across all age groups and demographics. It is clear that the changes within society over the last 15 to 30 years have had an impact on the way we live. It could be argued that this has had a detrimental effect on the population’s mental health. One interpretation is that we are experiencing a time of lower resilience, resulting in increased mental health issues.
Presently, we do not fully understand what these changes are, or their overall impact. However, it is clear that our lives - at home, work and in our local communities – are being affected. Often, this is in a negative way. Over the last 30 years we have seen a flood of social change, the most dramatic in modern history. This societal shift has transformed every aspect of our lives, but have we stopped to consider the question, “Are we living lives that are best suited to the physical and emotional needs of the human body and mind?"
We are at a point where the conversation around mental health is at the forefront of many private and governmental organisations. Never before have we so openly spoken about mental health-related issues. However, when we examine the provision and treatments available, we can see a struggling system - resources are stretched and unable to meet demand, a national lack of preventive solutions, and a reliance on reactive care.
With more struggling with mild mental health issues – conditions such as depression and anxiety – demand for services has increased. It is apparent that statutory services/funding alone will never be able to keep up with this. Never before has it been so necessary for a new approach to address low-level mental illness, that is both long-term and community-led. Mental health provision cannot just be the NHS’ responsibility, but needs to be steered by the whole community.
Mental health affects us all. None of us are immune to difficulties. Within each individual is the potential to become unwell - or at least experience a reduction in life enjoyment or productivity. With mental health issues having such an impact, it is of great importance to build a community-based concept, that works from the ground up, and for which we all take responsibility.
Barry Ingleton CEO/Founder – Synolos CIC - 2019
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Community Wellbeing recognises that not all mental illness has to be supported within a clinical setting. It also understands that individuals can play an active part in their own wellbeing, and to some extent individuals can play an active part in the wellbeing of their community. It is clear that the NHS is stretched. It is deluged with a constantly increasing caseload and it seems that no amount of extra funding can keep up with demand. Something different needs to be developed. Community Wellbeing can focus on reducing the NHS’ workload and seek to deliver services that complement existing structures, while seeking to be the preventive voice for mild depression and anxiety. If Community Wellbeing can reduce low-level mental illness escalating into more complex difficulties, it will free up recourses within the NHS - allowing individuals to live happier and more productive lives.
Four Corners of Community
Community Wellbeing believe there are 4 Corners of Community that if worked together under a common working platform will create A Powerhouse of Change within the local community.
Each corner consists of:
1) Statutory services
2) Third Sector operators and funders
3) The Business Community
4) Local Individuals.
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