Being mindful of mental health: The role of local government in mental health and wellbeing

This report explores how councils influence the mental wellbeing of our communities and how council services, from social care to parks to open spaces to education to housing, help to make up the fabric of mental health support for the people in our communities | LGA

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Image source: LGA

This report explores how councils influence the mental wellbeing of our communities and how council services, from social care to parks to open spaces to education to housing, help to make up the fabric of mental health support for the people in our communities. Many of our partner organisations have kindly contributed their view of the role of local government in mental health.

The World Health Organisation describes mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’. Good mental health is essential for a healthy and prosperous society. However, it is easy to focus on what happens when a person becomes mentally ill, and how the health service intervenes, rather than how to keep our communities mentally well in the first place, preventing mental health issues arising, intervening early if problems do start surfacing, and helping people manage their lives going forward. This is where councils play a fundamental role in the mental health and wellbeing of the population.

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