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London Borough of Sutton

Cllr Simon Wales is currently lead Member for Finance, Assets and the Voluntary Sector on Sutton Council and is in his third term as a councillor. He is Sutton Council’s mental health champion and is the lead member on the Our Place! Embracing Mental Health programme, for which Sutton has just won funding from DCLG to develop the Central Sutton mental health partnership. He is also the Council's representative on the local Dementia Action Alliance, and a Dementia Friend.

This role combines many things about which he feels passionately: joining up services across a wide partnership of providers, delivering more efficiently, and, most importantly, the opportunity to address the misconceptions and stigma which surround mental health. The voluntary sector in Sutton, for which he has been lead member for 4 years, has a long track record of delivering mental health services and he has witnessed at first hand the value of their interventions in this area, and their ability to change lives. The previous Mayor of Sutton’s charity was the Sutton Mental Health Foundation.

Mental ill health affects us all, and together we can deliver positive mental health actions to improve the lives of those who live with mental health problems.
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Champions say

"I have long championed mental health issues and I want to encourage people to speak openly about their condition and feel comfortable about how they feel. For far too long mental health issues have been treated as the Cinderella service and this must change." Nottinghamshire County Council

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.
So take a proactive approach and promote mental health across your area
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Mental Health Challenge

Centre for Mental Health
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Royal College of Psychiatrists
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