The Prevention Concordat Programme for Better Mental Health marked the first time agencies across the community and care sectors came together to make prevention a priority for mental health. Now 74 organisations representing all sectors have signed up and committed to action. These organisations are benefiting from resources designed specifically to help local areas put in place effective prevention planning arrangements.
Bristol’s commitment to the agreement will be delivered locally through Thrive Bristol, a ten-year programme to improve the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in Bristol. It covers all ages and aims to bring together the wide range of partners and work already taking place across the city.
Examples of work as part of Thrive Bristol include uniting local organisations to help the city become a Time to Change hub, as well as introducing a new Mental Health and Wellbeing badge which Bristol schools can work towards as part of the Bristol Healthy Schools programme. So far 11 Bristol schools have achieved it and 78 schools have expressed an interest, or are already working towards it.
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for Public Health, said: “Organisations at all different levels of society, at a local and national level, can play a role in preventing mental health problems. This is not a straightforward issue so it requires us to look at it from many different angles and through different lenses, so we have signed up to the PHE concordat in recognition of this. Locally Thrive Bristol is helping to bring partners around the table to work towards a shared goal of Bristol being a place free from discrimination and stigma about mental health and where we can all get the right help when we need it.”
The recently published NHS long term plan emphasised the need for a better balance between a system focused on detecting and treating illnesses, with one that also predicts and prevents poor health, including mental health.
Lily Makurah, national lead for public mental health at PHE, said: “The Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health exists to help communities prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health. Through local and national action across sectors we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing, improve outcomes and reduce stigmas for everyone. We’re delighted that Bristol City Council has joined the growing list of signatories.”
For more information about Thrive Bristol visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/mayor/thrive-Bristol