Calls for more mental health support after rise in demand for services in South Tyneside
Calls have come for more support on mental health in South Tyneside .
Concerns were raised at the latest meeting of West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum over the increase in demand for mental health services in the borough.
It came after an update was given on the drawing up of a refreshed South Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and officers stressed a variety of work is being done to support mental health services.
Cllr Anne Walsh, speaking at the meeting at South Shields Town Hall, warned it is an issue impacting young and old, and funding and resources need to be provided.
She said: “We’ve seen a massive increase in the borough around mental health, people’s anxieties about Covid, the lack of contact with GPs, that’s been really difficult.
“Mental health funding isn’t ring-fenced, so if other areas of the health sector need to dip into the funding, they usually take it from mental health funding.
“We’ve real concerns about mental health and that’s not just elderly; middle age, young people are being massively affected by this and I’m just wondering if you’re going to be doing more work around that.”
Anna Christie, public health knowledge and intelligence lead for South Tyneside, said mental health provision will be one of a number of key areas which will be developed as part of the refreshed health and wellbeing strategy.
However she added they also have a number of wider steps in place to help support mental health provision in South Tyneside.
She said: “A health and wellbeing strategy broadly is our go to plan for tackling the big health and wellbeing issues in South Tyneside. It’s a mandatory requirement of the local area.
“In terms of mental health broadly, I know we’ve had some one year funding and various projects have been commissioned as a result of that.
“We are working with key organisations to implement and develop additional mental health support.”
She added the health and wellbeing strategy work is coming as it is up for renewal, with steps being taken to ensure it is community led and involves the voluntary and community sector.