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UKCP daily news digest: Lord Mayor’s appeal launches mental health initative

Publication date: April 9, 2018 Author: By Gem Sofianos

Good morning – it’s Gem Sofianos with the latest mental health stories you shouldn’t miss.

Top Story: ‘Well-being in the City’ initiative to put listening at the heart of business

Teaming up the Samaritans, the Lord Mayor’s appeal is launching ‘Well-being in the City, an initiative that ‘will put listening at the heart of businesses’.

Two new interactive online programmes, Samaritans active listening skills and Samaritans wellbeing toolkit, have been created to ‘empower people to start a simple conversation with someone they are concerned about’ and ‘equip people with the skills to actively listen’.

‘Using a series of tools, we’re going to be working with companies in the City of London to give people the skills and confidence they need to approach people who may need support and make a real difference to their lives’, the Samaritans said.

Each programme takes less than an hour to complete and can be broken down into short sections of around 10 minutes.

‘These resources require only a small commitment, but could make a huge difference,’  Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London, said in City AM this morning.

‘Every year, around 600 people die by suicide across London, according to ONS figures. The 2017 Business in the Community report found that three out of every five employees have experienced mental health issues due to work, or where work was a contributing factor,’ he added.

‘Across the City, we have a responsibility to support our people, to look out for them and to offer help when needed.’

‘Wellbeing in the City is a ground-breaking emotional support programme for City workers, bringing Samaritans’ expertise into the workplace.’

MPs call for ‘breathing space’ for people who have serious mental health problems and are in debt

People who are being treated for serious mental health issues should be given a ‘reprieve from being hassled by creditors’ to avoid them spiralling further into debt, MPs have said.

According to the Independent, 73 MPs are backing a cross-party bid to make amendments to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which is being led by Labour’s Luciana Berger, Conservative MP Johnny Mercer and former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb.

They are calling for ministers who are currently considering a six weeks grace period for people who are having problems with debt to extend it to cover ‘people accessing mental health crisis care, who may lose their jobs or fall behind on payments while in hospital,’ the newspaper reports.

‘It is close to impossible for people to get out of debt if they have just come out of inpatient care,’ Berger told the Independent.

‘I speak to constituents about this all the time. There is a clear relationship between mental health and debt.

‘23,000 of the most vulnerable people are affected here and the government needs to do something to help them. What’s the point in these powers if they do not extend to the most vulnerable people in the country?’

In case you missed it…

Yoga class held on a train to tackle ‘phone zombies’ – The UK’s first ever train yoga class has been held on a train from London to Birmingham in a bid to promote mindfulness and tackle so called ‘phone zombies’.

Prince Harry to launch ‘Walk of America’ which encourages conversation around veteran’s mental health – Prince Harry is becoming the Patron of ‘Walk of America’, and will formally launch the 1,000 mile expedition this month.

North London theatre’s new interpretation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – An independent inclusive theatre in North London will bring a a ‘new and fresh perspective’ to the iconic story One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, this spring.

Ford partners with Time to Change to ‘break the silence on mental health’ – The UK arm of Ford has teamed up with Time to Change to launch a national awareness campaign to encourage people to speak more openly about mental health.

NHS bodies threatened with sanctions over mental health funds – NHS England’s national mental health director warns NHS bodies they may face sanctions if they don’t increase funds for mental health.

Young people are fearing for their emotional health more than ever before – Young people are fearing for their emotional health more than ever as worries about the future and ‘not being good enough’ weigh down on them, a survey by the Prince’s Trust has revealed.