Our Manifesto for Change: calling for an evolution in the way that mental health is understood and treated

Calling for an evolution in the way that mental health is understood and treated. The statement below is the introduction to the new Manifesto for Change that has been produced by Plattform, a mental health organisation (like Mind) in Wales. We need something similar for Manchester and the City Region.

You can read the full manifesto here

“To improve our mental health as a society, we need to look at the wider determinants of our physical and mental health and tackle the root causes of mental health difficulties at a community and population level. This will be good for all of us.

People in the poorest parts of the UK are living in a constant state of crisis, struggling on incomes that don’t cover the bills, living in damp and dilap- idated homes, having to raise children in poor cir- cumstances, and dying younger. This constant worry puts a strain on mental and physical health and the result is that people in more adversely affected communities experience a level of trauma and distress far higher than the rest of the population.

Our public systems, intended to help people when they are facing the toughest times, are no longer fit for purpose. They need redesigning so they work better for everyone. Often, we are told that our mental health is the result of our biology or a chemical imbalance, or it is downplayed as “something we all struggle with at times”. But we don’t all face the same struggles, and we don’t all have the same experiences of trauma.

For us to think differently about our public systems, we need a new conversation about mental health. We need to look at the root causes of distress and how we can create the sys- tems and communities where we can all thrive.

In this manifesto, we explore what this means in practice. Wales already has strong foundations, but we need to think about systems, and how we can build on those foundations further to support our vision of a healthy and trauma-informed society.

This manifesto is much more than just policy asks, although there are some of those too. It’s about all of us. It’s about how we act as citizens, friends, and neighbours. For those of us working in ‘helping’ systems, it’s about how we think about and act in those systems, both as colleagues and as people offering support. This impacts the multiple systems we are all part of, not just those related to mental health. It involves education, health, policing, social care, environment, community, leisure, arts, sport, and beyond.”

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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