Amidst local mental health crisis, R4U secures higher priority support at Essex County Council

In light of startling figures of local mental health issues amongst young people, Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) councillors at ECC have successfully driven through a unanimously supported motion for urgent action by ECC.

Martin Foley (R4U) Martin Foley (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Martin Foley, the Essex County Councillor for the Thaxted division, said “Covid isolation, increased time on social media and the cost-of-living crisis have created a nasty ‘perfect storm’ of issues that are fuelling increased rates of anxiety and self-harm in our young people. Statistics show that over 22,000 children and young people in Essex have mental health problems, and demand for mental health services far exceeds capacity. Even in Uttlesford, our schools have been reporting and supporting hundreds of students with safeguarding concerns, most relating to significant mental health issues. When our young people and their families need help the most, they are being let down by national and local government. They can’t wait for years for the new Mental Health Act Reform Bill to have an impact. Right now the government must urgently fast-track mental health funding to providers of front-line services.”

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, the Essex County Councillor for the Saffron Walden division, added “ECC must play its role too because many residents, front-line staff and schools are at breaking point. Last week my R4U county council colleague, Martin Foley, raised a motion at ECC calling for urgent action to be taken, which I seconded. Our motion was unanimously passed, which is a very encouraging step forward. We also demanded that the government immediately target new funding. Shockingly the Conservative majority at ECC voted to remove any financial demands on their government at Westminster from our motion. None the less, we were successful in securing support for a action on mental health services to be given a higher priority at ECC. Now, through our roles on the ECC Health Overview Scrutiny Committee, Martin and I will continue to press the ECC cabinet and responsible committees for Essex to receive sufficient resources for residents’ mental health need. Young people need access to mental health support right now, not when it is too late.”

About Residents for Uttlesford