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Basildon Council

Andrew Gordon is a Labour councillor for Basildon in Essex. He has experienced mental health problems since the age of fifteen. While still undergoing intensive psychotherapy, he put himself forward to be selected for a council seat in Basildon.

In May 2011, at 18, Andrew won the election and became one of the youngest councillors in the country. He was still living with his parents and still under the care of the community Mental health team. The turning point for him was being able to embrace his experience of having mental health problems, and being a young person. He uses his own lived experiences to put forward arguments and challenge decisions.

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"All care matters. All people matter" Swindon Borough 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
Mental Health Foundation
Rethink Mental Illness
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Young Minds