Liberal Democrat councillors in Haringey have highlighted the need to offer support in the community to those struggling with mental illness.
Cllr Pippa Connor arranged for representatives from five grassroots groups to address all councillors about bringing community mental health support to those conventional services struggle to reach. The councillors heard from the Bridge Renewal Trust, Sewn Together, the Community Hub, the People’s Christian Hub and Dalmar.
These organisations not only provide practical support like food banks, skills training and exercise classes, but also use the relationships built in the process, as a launchpad to offer counselling, public health messaging and signposting to other services. However, these organisations also reported that the pandemic and lockdown has presented them with challenges: clients unable to access services due to digital exclusion, increased demand and disrupted fundraising. They ask the Council to step up and support them at this time.
In the discussion that followed, Cllrs Nick da Costa and Tammy Palmer gave heart-breaking yet inspiring accounts of their own experiences with mental illness.
They both underlined the importance of tackling the stigma that surround psychiatric conditions, so that sufferers feel able to seek the treatment and support they need.
If you are affected by these issues then Mind in Haringey has resources that may help. They can be found at: https://www.mindinharingey.org.uk/