The needs of Nottinghamshire people with mental health issues are to be championed by the county council as it signs up to a government mental health challenge.
The move, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, reaffirms the council’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of people with mental health concerns by adopting 10 pledges.
These include appointing a lead councillor as a mental health champion for the authority, encouraging positive mental health in schools, colleges and workplaces, working with people of all ages and backgrounds about what they need for better mental health, and following a mental health strategy set up by the Government as part of the initiative.
As a first step, the authority has appointed Mansfield Woodhouse-based Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, deputy leader and chair of its health and wellbeing committee, to become its champion for mental health to drive local action to support the initiative.
Coun Bosnjak (pictured) will take a lead role in working with schools, businesses and community groups on mental health and talking to mental health service users and voluntary groups locally to understand their needs and concerns.
She will also ensure the Council’s policies and activities address the needs of people with mental health issues.
She said: “As a former psychiatric nurse I’m passionate about the needs of people with mental health concerns and I ‘m honoured to be appointed the county council’s mental health champion.
“Many of our services work with local people with mental health needs to improve their lives and wellbeing, but more can be done to combat the longstanding prejudices and misunderstandings that exist about mental health issues.
“I’m particularly keen to work with young people to dispel myths and encourage the next generation to have a positive and compassionate view of people with mental health concerns.”