Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (Rotary) has taken its first steps to commit to tackling poor mental health across Great Britain and Ireland by signing up to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health from Public Health England (PHE).
Working closely with PHE, they are making significant steps towards promoting good mental health and preventing mental health problems across the country.
One in six adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime. This is influenced by the environment in which we are born, grow, live and work, meaning many of these problems can be prevented.
Having good mental health is important because it can help us to be more resilient, feel good and function well, have more positive relationships with those around us and deal with difficult times now and in the future.
The Prevention Concordat marks the first time agencies across the community and care sectors have come together to make prevention a priority for mental health. So far, over 140 organisations representing all sectors have signed up and committed to action.
The commitment from Rotary includes supporting existing local mental health groups, running Mental Health First Aid sessions; raising awareness via Rotary Health Fairs poster campaigns and a dedicated Rotarians4Mental Health website, offering mentoring support in local schools and working with local businesses.
Donna Wallbank, President of Rotary GBI commented: “We are delighted to be pledging our commitment to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.
“During my time as a member of Rotary and during the first few months of my role as national President, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved and see a whole range of community-based projects Rotary clubs are implementing to support mental health.
“Whether it is trying to take the stress out of job hunting by giving students with mock interview sessions or providing support for those living with dementia and their families.”
Through local and national action across sectors, we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing and reducing stigma for everyone.”
Promoting good mental health is everyone’s responsibility and can only be achieved if organisations – including local authorities, NHS trusts, businesses, local communities, and religious groups – work together at local and national level.
Lily Makurah, national lead for public mental health at PHE, said: “We’re delighted that Rotary has joined the growing list of organisations signing up to our Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.
“This is designed to help communities promote good mental health and prevent mental health problems. Through local and national action across sectors, we can all contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing and reducing stigma for everyone.”
By signing up to the concordat, Rotary is not only showing public leadership in addressing mental health problems in local communities; they are also putting effective prevention planning arrangements in place, using resources from PHE.
As well as recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, this represents a movement away from stigma and fear, and towards achieving a fairer and more equal society.
We’re delighted to announce the following new signatories to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health:
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) October 3, 2019
Volunteering can have a real positive effect on a person’s mental health, with research from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) finding that 77% of volunteers said doing so improved their wellbeing.
“We’d encourage anyone who is looking to give back to the community or meet new people to get involved with Rotary.” Donna continued.
“Or join us at Volunteer Expo at the NEC in Birmingham from 1st-3rd May next year. This is Rotary’s new, national event and is the perfect place for those looking to volunteer to get started!”
Mental health is a key element of the programme for Volunteer Expo, with world champion boxer Frank Bruno, and actress Chizzy Akudolu, who have each had their own battles with mental health issues, part of the line-up of speakers.
Volunteer Expo is the first event of its kind in the UK, and alongside a bustling exhibition of over 100 charities and organisations, the event’s Learning Zones will also offer visitors the chance to engage with the topic of mental health through practical workshops and intimate seminar sessions.
Free tickets to Volunteer Expo are available now from www.volunteerexpo.co.uk/visit
Find out more about the Prevention Concordat for better mental health on the Public Health England website.