Jean Taylor introduced the report.
The Chair stated that it was important to acknowledge the contribution the borough could make as partners in order to help achieve the key outcomes.
Board members commented that:
· Recommendation 9.4 regarding disability was an important point and should be noted.
· Healthwatch Lambeth had 150 experts on disability and this was a useful resource.
· Mental health support in schools should be considered a priority. Healthwatch could assist in issues relating to both disability and mental health support in schools.
· Educational achievement was an important issue and the issues relating to achievement in the borough often mirrored the issues found in other boroughs. Previous research had been completed on schools making a difference to the achievement of Black/Caribbean students, particularly boys, and the research had highlighted methods of good practice.
· The impact of youth violence on the borough was significant. Many young people had discussed their fears and anxieties of simply being out in the streets and in public spaces. Some work was being done in the area. For example, the Safeguarding Children’s Board had created a strategy on youth violence and the Safer Lambeth Partnership had a youth violence strategy which would be developed further.
· Schools and youth clubs had started working together regarding the mental wellbeing of students and Councillor Pickard endorsed a call for extra action from government on mental health in schools.
· The report did not appear to address issues relating to people of other backgrounds outside of members of the black community, particularly those who did not speak English as a first language, especially for those that spoke Portuguese. More funding should also be allocated in this area.
· Paragraph 2.6 which discussed a national government ring-fenced funding was particularly important. Some research that had been conducted in schools found that there was no national minimum standards for mental health services in schools.
· Many of the recommendations were aimed at the Council but the CCG would share some of the responsibility and work with the Council to make progress.
· Anything that had been learnt through the process, such as methods of good practice, needed to be shared with the Mayor of London so that any solutions could be shared London-wide.
The Chair stated that there was a responsibility to ensure that best practice in relation to mental health in schools be considered an important part of the narrative.
The Chair also stated that there were a range of organisations including the CCG who wished to actively play a role in making further progress.It was important to note that a greater emphasis needed to be placed on the role of schools in promoting good mental health and the need for government spending. It was also important to note that there were some language issues in parts of the community which created a barrier for some when attempting to seek access to services.
1. That the recommendations to the Council set out in the Equality Commission recommendations report (outlined in Appendix A) be noted.
2. That the recommendations to partners and national government made by the Commission (and outlined in Appendix B) be noted.