Agenda item

Mental Health

(All wards)


Report authorised by: Andrew Eyres: Strategic Director for Integrated Health and Care


Contact for enquiries: Bimpe Oki, Consultant in Public Health, 020 7926 9678,



Bimpe Oki, Public Health Consultant, introduced the report and stated:

·           Mental wellbeing was relevant to everyone.

·           Inequalities existed in mental health and certain groups are more likely to have poor mental wellbeing, such as those facing poverty, homelessness, and discrimination.

·           COVID-19 had a significant impact on mental wellbeing. While evidence from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey revealed that most had recovered from before the pandemic, those from lowest income bracket continued to report lower mental wellbeing.

·           Other groups impacted disproportionately by the pandemic were women, older people, younger people, ethnic minorities and those renting homes.

·           The World Health Organisation (WHO) identified major determinants of mental health inequality: income security and social protection, living conditions, health services, social and human capital and employment conditions, as well as grief and loss.

·           The impacts of the pandemic were just being realised and a focus on evidence based mental wellbeing was important.

·           To tackle inequalities, the root causes needed to be addressed, such as financial resilience or employment opportunity.

·           Lambeth had worked with community organisations to reach groups most challenged by the impacts of pandemic.

·           The Council received funding to support groups such as carers, asylum seekers, isolated adults, and the recently unemployed, particularly those from the Black community.

·           A Mental Health worker had been employed to assist the Health and Wellbeing Bus and other community programmes.

·           Staff and organisations had received training for mental health awareness, mental health first aid, suicide prevention and bereavement awareness.

·           Significant work had been done in schools to develop the mental wellbeing offer, as well as with Citizens UK and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on financial debt advise and food hubs.

·           Local community initiatives included the Health and Wellbeing Hubs and LGBTQ+ work to promote mental wellbeing as the Health and Wellbeing Grant Fund had increased in value to support people and initiatives around the borough.

·           A wellbeing walk had been organised on 28 January 2022 to celebrate London’s Great Mental Health Day to recognise the work of partners such as South London and Maudsley (SLaM), South London Listens and Thrive London.


Bimpe Oki introduced Matthew McKenzie, independent carer, author and poet; who addressed the Board and noted that:

·           The previous presentation identified carers as being at poor mental health risk, which was something he experienced as current carer for his brother and a carer for his mother for 18 years.

·           The Triangle of Care Steering Group engaged health and care strategies consisted of 45 members and Trusts.

·           He was a member of the Royal College of Nursing  Experts by Experience (EbyE) group and NHS England Health Service Journal (HSJ) judge and Chair of the Joint Lambeth and Southwark Carers Forum for five years.

·           His mother had schizophrenia and recently passed away due to a lack of resources.

·           Unpaid carers experienced difficulties and often suffered burnout from a lack of resources and support.

·           Carer Support Groups were vital, such as the Lambeth Carer’s Hub, and peer support increased carers’ networks and access to support and information.

·           Access to General Practices was vital as they were often a first port of call during crises.

·           He followed the five steps for mental wellbeing.

·           He wrote a book to share his experience in taking on mental health and unpaid care.

·           Officers would circulate his Carer Wellbeing Poem to the Board.


Natalie Creary, Black Thrive, informed the Board that:

·           Certain groups experienced poorer mental health, with Black communities generally overrepresented in acute services and entering mental health systems through coercive routes. Significant work was needed to reduce structural barriers to access services early and improve experiences and outcomes.

·           The Patient and Care Race Equality Framework (PCREF) framework was to become compulsory, with SLaM as one of four UK pilots to address systemic racism.

·           Healing Spaces were being tested in the community and the model was adjudged to be of significant value.

·           A culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy service was being designed and was funded by the Living Well Network Alliance as members of the community were trained to deliver peer support within the community and inpatient settings.

·           The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received feedback that services delivered in clinical settings were less welcoming.  The Brixton Road clinic had been transformed into a living room space for close community services.

·           A creative therapy model was to be tested with young people.

·           Black Thrive worked with Kings College London (KCL) to understand the Stop and Search’s mental impact and to provide support following difficult Police interactions.

·           Neighbourhood Wellbeing Delivery Alliance was researching unemployment and social isolation for solutions to take forward.

·           PCREF sought opportunities to deliver transformational systems change, offer choice and African-centred healing offers, which depended on a partnership approach to deliver.

·           The unemployment rate for Black men was widening and it was important to address the barriers to accessing and sustaining work.


The Chair thanked speakers for their input and noted the valuable work of the Black Men’s Consortium, using theatre to address mental health in the Black community.


It was noted in response to questions that:

·           The PCREF framework was becoming mandatory, as work included engagement events to understand key issues.

·           The importance of collecting quality data to provide an accurate picture of the need was noted and qualitative data had been collected to inform the Board.

·           These projects were not being funding ordinarily, but these ideas would be embedded by 2026 to help sustain long-term change.

·           Increasing unemployment of Black women was an issue, which mandatory vaccination compounded, while Black male unemployment rates were 50%.

·           Poverty needed to be analysed from all perspectives.

·           Integrated talking therapies were not yet available and the services websites were often not culturally appropriate. Family Advisors in Lewisham were a third sector organisation that focused on Afro-Caribbean ethnic patients and families, but the challenge was to educate the community as to the importance of mental wellbeing.

·           Economic inequality was significant and tackling the root causes of inequality needed to provide increased access to income, improved administration of welfare advice and access to benefits.

·           The Health and Wellbeing Hubs and community initiatives provided a holistic approach, through co-delivery of financial advice or signposting to agencies providing services as there were opportunities for primary care and tackling poverty.

·           Another example of holistic approach was through the planning of and enabling access to affordable housing.



1.      To note the report.


Supporting documents: