Both Adur and Worthing are Mental Health Champion Councils. Councillor Simmons is the Mental Health Champion for the Adur District. So what does that mean?
Firstly there are a range of challenges for such councils, all of which are shown in the presentation below. Secondly, it is essential that in all decisions made by the council, that mental health and the impact on it are considered as an integral part of the process. Adur District Council has a public health strategy which includes mental health as an essential part.
Training of Councillors and staff is also key, and Councillor Simmons not only meets with Charities such as MIND in the health and well-being partnership, but he has also attended training sessions on dementia, in order to better understand the trauma which is attached to that, both for the person concerned and their family. Further training is planned to make sure that all services provided by Adur District Council are 'mental health friendly'.
Couoncillor Simmons has also been recently appointed as a Governor on the Sussex NHS Partnership Trust, representing West Sussex County Council. The Partnersip deals with mental health issues across the whole of Sussex. Councillor Simmons said "I am pleased to be able to take part in trying to improve services for those who suffer from mental health issues among our community, and I will be doing my best to generate meaningful partnerships as part of my new role and in representing local people more effectively."
Following the release of a government green paper on young people and mental health in December 2017, there will be special responsibilities for schools. Councillor Simmons is taking a leading interest locally and across West Sussex to ensure that schools are prepared for these new responsibilities.
Currently West Sussex County Council are working with the Susses Partnership Foundation Trust to train six new workers to go into schools and support them in dealing with mental health issues such as self-harming and social and emotional mental health issues (SEMH).
As an appointed Governor of the above Trust, Councillor David Simmons attends meetings with NHS senior staff, Non-Executive Directors and users of mental health services to keep service delivery under review and assist in improving services to our community. Mental Health issues are important right across the community, from young people who self harm to those people who suffer from dementia. David presses for more resources to be put in place to tackle the issues with young people as a way of preventing the need for critical care later in their lives.
Currently there are public consultations going on to look improving mental health services and improving emotional health and well-being support services for children and young people across Sussex. To find out more and contribute to the reviews, click on the link on the left of this page which will direct you the the SPFT web-site and click again on 'news and events'
Councillor David Simmons
42 Greenways Crescent
Tel: 01273 464018 (home)
Mobile: 0772 505 4389
Executive Member for Finance and Deputy Leader at Adur District Council
Councillor Angus Dunn
86, Church Green
Tel.: 01273 870067
Mobile: 07760 486552