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Sunderland Council

Cllr Debra Waller was elected to Sunderland City Council as a Labour councillor in 2011 for the Sandhill Ward. She is currently lead scrutiny member for Children’s Services as well as sitting on the Licensing and West Area Place Board Committees. She is a Health Champion, which entails directing people in the community to services for health issues such as smoking, alcohol and mental health and wellbeing. After experiencing mental health issues on both a personal and professional level, Debra feels that she has a better understanding of what people go through when experiencing mental health problems and what parents go through when there child is suffering from a mental illness. She is studying for a degree in psychology.

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Champions say

"Having the model motion available online was a really helpful starting point. We had a good debate at full council, and signing up to the mental health challenge enjoyed cross party support with a unanimous vote. There is still a long way to go to implement and embed all that we need to, but there is great support and sharing of ideas from fellow member champions across the country, and from the team at the centre for mental health" Norfolk 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
join our Challenge

Mental Health Challenge

Centre for Mental Health
Mental Health Foundation
Rethink Mental Illness
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Young Minds