'Working in partnership to tackle mental health challenges'

Food bank use has tripled in Brent over the summer. Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA

Through collaboration Haringey Council are focusing on reducing food poverty - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The splashes of sunshine we’ve seen lately can make it feel like it’s still summer, but at Haringey Council we are preparing for winter and focusing on work with local partners and the community.

Mental wellbeing has been propelled to the forefront of conversations of late, and in Haringey our £300K of additional funds is a welcome contribution to this key area.

On a visit to one of our partners last week, I heard first hand about the increase in need for support (which may be as much as 20%), often amongst people who’ve never sought help before.

Our wellbeing network and the work of the borough’s suicide prevention group are two great examples of how partnership with the community and local organisations can make a real difference.

Thursday 27th May 2021. Haringey Council AGM. Photo: David Mirzoeff

Cllr Lucia Das Neves says Haringey Council are planning for the winter - Credit: David Mirzoeff

One of Covid’s direct impacts is that we are seeing greater demand for support, with people with more complex and greater needs, and of course long Covid, needing social care.

And whilst we want to be hopeful, the government’s recent announcements mean we’re unlikely to see any significant new funds to help social care locally before 2025/26.

In the meantime, our winter planning means working hard to make sure we have the resources in place to support over 5,000 people who need adult social care, 70% of whom have a physical disability.

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We have set out a strong agenda of collaboration at the council, and this is translating into a range of initiatives in health, social care and wellbeing, including: a focus on reducing food poverty, working with the Haringey Food Network; working with partners on reducing violence against women and girls; and supporting local community organisations, alongside health, to help tackle inequality.

Whatever the winter holds for us, we are committed to building on the strengths we see around us in the borough, and working with local people and organisations to face the challenges.

Cllr Lucia Das Neves (Lab) is Haringey Council cabinet member for health, social care and wellbeing