Local employers urged to put mental health on their agenda

Today on the 25th World Mental Health Day, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, is calling on businesses to put mental health on their agenda. The theme of this year’s awareness event, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is workplace wellbeing. Ms McCartney urged employers to take action to “tackle the culture of silence that all too often surrounds mental illness.”

To mark World Mental Health Day, the mental health campaign charity, Time to Change, is asking organisations to take extra steps to ensure employees experiencing mental illness are properly supported. Ms McCartney said with local people spending a significant amount of their time in the workplace “it’s a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.”

Earlier this year the Mayor of London launched his Thrive LDN campaign, a city-wide initiative designed to improve mental health by supporting Londoners, and especially young Londoners, to lead healthier, happier lives. Bringing together experts from public and private organisations, the campaign aims to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination and to make London a zero-suicide city.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“Although there have been positive strides forward in recent years, there is still a long way to go in the fight for equality between mental health and physical health.

“With a significant proportion of our lives spent in the workplace it is a good place to start when it comes to talking about our mental wellbeing.

“I hope local employers will seize the opportunity World Mental Health Day provides to tackle the culture of silence that all too often still surrounds mental illness.”

Joanne Welcomes School Air Quality Audit

Welcoming the announcement that Lordship Lane Primary School, Holy Trinity CofE Primary School and Welbourne Primary School in Haringey and Bowes Primary School and Meridian Angel Primary School in Enfield will be included in the Mayor of London’s air quality audit, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“There is a lot of evidence showing that air quality can have a long-term detrimental impact on the health of our children. It’s great to see that the Mayor is taking genuine steps to tackle the impact of toxic air on children in Enfield & Haringey, and I hope this audit is just the start.

“I welcome further measures taken by the Mayor to clean up the capital’s air, including the introduction of the T-charge and plans to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. We now need the government to follow his lead and take steps to tackle London’s toxic air, not least by introducing a new Clean Air Act and a diesel scrappage scheme.”

Thrive LDN welcomed in Enfield & Haringey

A new city-wide campaign designed to improve mental health across the capital has been welcomed by local Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney. Thrive LDN, launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, aims to support Londoners to lead healthier, happier lives. Ms McCartney, who is also the Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare said support for young people was particularly important, and that all Londoners should remember that “it’s good to talk.”

The Thrive campaign sets out to maximise the potential of children and young people. Children in London are more likely to be admitted to hospital for a mental health condition compared to England as a whole, although the latest figures show this trend is starting to change. In Enfield & Haringey, the rate of admission is higher. Since 2010, an average of 99 children in Enfield and 108 children in Haringey per 100,000 have been hospitalised for a mental health condition. This compares with 92 per 100,000 across England.

The campaign brings together experts in voluntary, public and private organisations, clinicians and academics. Aside from the focus on children and young people, the campaign also aims to eradicate mental health stigma and discrimination and to make London a zero suicide city.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“More than 2 million Londoners will experience mental health problems this year. If you are not one of those 2 million, you almost certainly know someone who is. However, often due to stigma, far too few of us talk about it or get the help we need and deserve.

“It is vital that children in particular have the language and the space to discuss and manage their mental health. At the moment, a child in Enfield & Haringey is more likely to be admitted to hospital with a mental health condition than elsewhere in England. That is something we need to change.

“I warmly welcome Mayor Khan’s decision to launch Thrive LDN. People in both Enfield & Haringey should look out for the events and advertising campaigns to come, but in the meantime we should all remember that it’s good to talk.”

Joanne welcomes improved bus services to NMUH

Commenting on the announcement that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set out plans to improve bus services to North Middlesex University Hospital, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“I am delighted that Mayor Khan is committing to take action on this vital local issue, especially after the previous Mayor offered no solution when I raised this issue in the past.

“I have long been campaigning with local residents for improved bus services to our local hospitals to ensure people across Enfield, particularly in Winchmore Hill and Chase, can get to North Middlesex University Hospital, after the government took the decision to downgrade Chase Farm Hospital.

“There will now be direct new bus links, meaning constituents will no longer have to embark on a long and difficult journey on public transport in order to access services, visit relatives, or work their shifts.”

Hard work of local health staff recognised

Labour London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney, visited Highgate Group Practice on World Health Day to see first-hand the services they provide to local residents.

The visit was organised by the Londonwide Local Medical Committees who represent NHS GPs. Ms McCartney met with their CEO, Michelle Drage and local practitioners to discuss discussed the challenges facing primary care today.

They discussed the need to improve co-ordination between different NHS trusts and to provide better transport links to mental health services. Health staff also raised concerns around recruitment and retention.

The challenges form part of a wider strain on local health services in recent years, with general practice threatened by a shortage of GPs. In 2015, GPonline calculated that by 2020, Haringey will need an extra 35 GPs and Enfield will need at least 84 more in order to keep up with demand.

Ms McCartney praised health staff for their hard work and said “their importance in keeping us healthy cannot be understated.”

Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“It was wonderful to mark World Health Day by seeing the hard work that our GPs do for our local community I want to thank Highgate Group Practice for welcoming me.”

“Practitioners form the frontline of our NHS and with the closure of several large A&E departments their importance in keeping us healthy cannot be understated.”

“With the NHS being such a key part of our society, it was good to get a better understanding of the challenges that our GPs face. With a growing population, we must ensure that our health service is able to cope in the years ahead so that London’s GPs are able to continue to provide a good service.”