Pledge to improve mental health in South Tyneside

Council chiefs have pledged to do “everything within their power” to ensure a “better mental health community” in South Tyneside.
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It came after councillors at the latest Riverside Community Area Forum heard a presentation from the Even Better CIC mental health community hope group.

This included talks from various individuals discussing their stories as part of their aim to spread hope in the community by sharing lived experiences of the difficult times they have faced and support accessed.

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They also highlighted the importance of voluntary and community sector mental health services in helping people in need, and how increased awareness of such work is needed.

Mental health pledge in South Tyneside.Mental health pledge in South Tyneside.
Mental health pledge in South Tyneside.

Cllr Anne Hetherington, council cabinet member for adults, health and independence, pledged to continue to work with the group to help ensure residents in South Tyneside get the best support possible.

She said: “There is more we can do and we are just touching the tip of the iceberg with mental health issues, it’s something that’s really close to my heart.

“It is such a massive thing, it’s about the information but it’s also about the communication and we need to be using what we’ve got and coming together with our voluntary sector.

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“I will do as much as I possibly can within my power to make these things happen so that we do get a better mental health community within South Tyneside, because it does touch us all at some point.”

The cabinet member added mental health support is a topic she is working with relevant council officers on, with numerous plans in place.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, September 20, she praised the “fantastic work” of the Even Better group and hailed how far they have come and the number of people they have supported.

After being raised by councillors at the meeting, it was also agreed the issue of community mental health services in South Tyneside will be referred to a council scrutiny committee to look into, which Even Better offered to help with.

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Councillor Ed Malcolm added: “I don’t think the story needs to end here, I do think that before this municipal term is out we really need to be coming back with a report.”

To get in contact with Even Better CIC residents can email [email protected] or visit their Facebook and Twitter pages.