South East London Integrated Care System (ICS) alongside communities, local authorities and mental health trusts have pledged further action to drive the mental ill-health prevention agenda through South London Listens at an energetic assembly on World Mental Health Day (October 10).
Powerful stories were shared by individuals from across South London who are directly affected by lack of access to safe, responsive, and timely mental health services to precarious working conditions and low wages, among other critical issues which have the potential to impact the mental health of communities.
The Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallet, Bishop of Croydon said: “We have come together because we have one aim which is to work together for the common aim to build one society for all. We all have the right to good mental health.”
More than 400 community leaders, including young people, were joined at Greenwood Theatre, King’s College London, by NHS leaders and local politicians.
The Assembly celebrated South London Listen’s achievements, identified where more work is needed and made collective commitments to continuing to support the unique programme of work.
Community leaders led a call for further action on the factors that impact their mental health. Leaders have pledged their support for the following:
Community Embedded Worker – For each mental health trust to meet with us to discuss the findings of the Community Embedded Worker pilot and take action to build upon this model across the communities you serve.
Safe Surgeries – For each mental health trust to endorse the safe surgery campaign and work with us to encourage GP surgeries to actively embed the Safe Surgeries guidance.
London Living Wage – For three south London mental health trusts to continue to champion the real living wage so other employers in our communities follow our lead. We would also like your commitment to working as part of your ICS to hold a system recruitment event at least once a year
CAMHS Virtual waiting room – For each mental health trust to commit to having CAMHS waiting times visible. For each mental health trust to share information on when your virtual CAMHS waiting room will be up and running and to keep communities engaged in the process
Parental Support – For each mental health trust to continue to work with your communities to build and extend peer-to-peer parent networks as a key part of your prevention strategy.
Loneliness and Isolation – For each mental health trust to continue to listen, support and act with the Be Well hubs to better respond to challenges to mental health across South London.
At the event – NHS and local authority leaders showcased innovative and ongoing commitments to tackling the four South London Listens priorities in each of the 12 South London Boroughs.
South London Listens shared its vision for its next chapter, building on the solid foundations. The new chapter will call for the integrated Care Systems to transform healthcare by continuing to work together with communities to create lasting solutions which address the most pressing challenges and issues – such as the cost of living crisis.
Andrew Bland, Chief Executive of South London Integrated Care System (ICS) said: “We are proud to recommit to South London Listens. If we are to design our healthcare systems to work for our communities we need to listen to our communities to build Trust.”
Community leaders pledged to bring an active partner in South London Listens to engage communities and tackle mental and physical health challenges.
South London Listens is a unique movement that is the result of a collaboration between community organisations, the NHS and local authorities. It is built on the contributions of thousands of people from across south London who have openly shared how the pandemic has impacted them and their ideas for preventing a mental ill-health crisis. It has four main priorities:
1) Loneliness, social isolation and digital inclusion
2) Work and wages
3) Children, young people and parental mental health
4) Access to mental health services
Find out more about the Accountability Assembly on Twitter.