As many of us head back to school or work this week after a long summer break, in conjunction with the Plymouth Herald, this is going to be Plymouth’s annual “Talk don’t suffer” campaign week.
Mental Health provision in this City has come a long way, but for too many it remains poor. One of the biggest challenges to configuring our Mental Healthcare services is understanding the need. And the biggest challenge in doing that is getting people to talk about it.
I remember in November last year saying to Parliament that I was embarrassed at my fellow MP’s that we were continuing to talk about the stigma of Mental Health in 2015. So we are going to change that.
This week you will read a series of blogs and articles including by a prominent national Mental Health campaigner writing exclusively for the Plymouth Herald. You will also see reports on some of the brilliant people in our City who provide Mental Health treatments. At the end of the week I will sit down in an extended interview with the Herald and talk about what I have done so far to improve these, and what the future of Mental Health looks like in Plymouth.
And we will do this annually and start holding ourselves to account for change. It is simply not good enough to talk about change without delivering it. It is simply not good enough to talk about parity of esteem and not see that in funding from Government.
Mental Healthcare is as important as any other healthcare, and it is time we made that a reality in both our attitude and our provision to Plymouth. This week will lead in to World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10th Sept. Today the biggest killer in men and women in Britain under 45 is… suicide.
Talk, don’t suffer.