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Surrey County Council

In 1983 I returned from living 18 years in the Middle East and settled in Hersham with my family. I soon became involved with life in my new village and was able to organise the delivery of meals on wheels in Walton, Hersham and Weybridge alongside running an office that cared for the elderly, even the delivery of Christmas parcels. During the time leading to my being elected as the County Councillor for Hersham in 1989 I also became involved and continue to be the Treasurer for Hersham District and Weybridge Division Girl Guides and also Treasurer for Elmbridge Mencap which I retired from in the early 90s.
Once I became a County Councillor, and am now the longest standing in Surrey, I quickly realised my strength was in supporting residents and have through the years always linked with the Social Services life time services and the education of young people and enjoyed the experience of being a governor of the whole range of education. In recent years I was a member of the Public Value Review for both mental illness and learning disability and as such was able to visit the many outlets in Surrey offering care and support including NHS provision and the charitable and private sector. I am a Governor of the Surrey & Borders NHS Trust whose workings within the mental health spectrum has helped me to break down the silos in which the public sector works in and enjoy the more joined up approach. My approach has always been to go out and learn from service users, this is the only way that I can learn and then apply support when attending meetings.
My hobbies include playing bridge and singing, both in various choirs in Surrey and “note bashing” for a choir in Shepperton when I finally hand the singers over to a conductor and also leading the choir at County Hall especially for the Chairman’s carol gathering. I am an active member of St. Peter’s Church in Hersham where I am the verger.

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Mental Health Facts

Mental ill health affects us all

  • One in five of us has a mental health condition at any one time.
  • Around half of people with lifetime mental health problems experience the first symptoms before the age of 14.
  • Only a quarter of people with a mental health condition receive any treatment for it.
  • Nine out of ten people in prison have at least one mental health problem. Almost a quarter of prisoners have a mental illness that requires specialist treatment.
  • Mental ill health has an economic and social cost of £105bn a year.
  • Mental illness accounts for 28% of the total burden of disease but only 13% of NHS spending.
  • Untreated mental ill health adds around £10 billion a year to the cost of physical health care for people with long-term conditions.
  • People with severe and enduring mental health conditions die on average 20 years earlier than those without.
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