The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local people’s mental health was top of the agenda at a recent meeting attended by David Rutley MP and Mike Heale, Chair of the East Cheshire Mental Health Forum.
At the meeting, David also heard the views of other Forum members including Councillor Alift Harewood MBE and Mr Geoff Gray. The attendees raised the additional pressures that the pandemic has created in the lives of many people and families in the local area, and the impact this is having on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Forum members also highlighted the important role of the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), our local mental health service provider, in supporting people with mental health issues during these unprecedented times.
David and Forum members gave their strong support to CWP’s new 24/7 urgent mental health phone line. The helpline is part of the NHS long term plan to improve access to mental health support. Whilst it was originally set to go live next year, it has been fast-tracked to be available to support local people during the coronavirus pandemic. For anyone who requires mental health support, the helpline’s number is 0800 145 6485 and it is operated by local NHS staff who can connect people experiencing mental health issues with the best local support.
The meeting also focused on the important work performed by numerous local charities to assist with mental health challenges including Just Drop In, The Samaritans and the Bridgend Centre. Whilst at the meeting David stressed the importance of tackling young people’s mental health challenges, this is an issue that has renewed importance in these unprecedented times.
Following the meeting, David said “I was grateful to attend the meeting with the East Cheshire Mental Health Forum members to hear about the important work that is taking place in these challenging times. The new CWP 24/7 urgent mental health helpline will be of great importance in supporting local people, both young and old, as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.”