Mental Health summit sets out action plan to tackle a growing challenge

In the light of a surge in demand for mental health support from residents of all ages and backgrounds, city’s leaders have come together to set in place an action plan that would ensure a joined-up and coordinated response to a growing mental health challenge.


York mental health summit was held on the 26th March involving the NHS, universities, police, MPs, council and charities – with a focus on emotional health education in schools, extra support for businesses to help their staff and suicide prevention services.

Recent research presented at the meeting suggests that almost 20% of the population will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 crisis. Concerning is also the rise in the proportion of children experiencing a probable mental disorder, which has increased over the past three years, from one in nine in 2017 to one in six in July 2020.

The short-term actions agreed by city’s leaders ranged from the introduction of special school recovery curriculum, additional support of suicide prevention programmes, proactive work with local businesses, the rolling out of Northern Quarter Project across the city and other measures. More information can be found here.

As a part of the 2021/22 budget proposals, Liberal Democrat councillors pledged a vital cash boost to provide additional mental health support.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, commented:

“We have all seen the toll this crisis has taken. The scale and seriousness of the rise in mental health issues is extremely worrying.

“York has pioneered better mental health care for centuries and the incredible response throughout the pandemic by city partners has shown that there is a real willingness in the city to work together to achieve the best results for our residents.

“Taking effective and joined-up action to support mental health is crucial. The challenge facing our city is unprecedented and extraordinary and there is a need to act now to address what we should be doing better to address the growing need for services locally.”

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