Isle of Wight voices call for change during Mental Health Awareness Week

Cllr Lilley’s motion at tonight’s Annual Council Meeting proposes a series of meetings called “Island Voices” where Island residents experiencing mental health issues or care for those with mental health issues can come, speak and be listened to.


Cllr Michael Lilley (Ryde East) has joined forces with Isle of Wight residents who are campaigning for a greater voice in the improvement of mental health services on the Island.

A vote against complacency
Cllr Lilley is putting a Motion to Isle of Wight Council during Mental Health Awareness Week calling for all Councillors to vote against complacency and make an annual pledge calling for significant reduction in suicides, suicide attempts, admission to secondary mental health/crisis services, and the Quality Care Commission judging Island Mental Health Services as excellent (it was rated Inadequate in April 2017).

This pledge to be reaffirmed every year until there is real improvement and change.

Many residents still receiving poor mental health service
Councillor Lilley said,

“Over the last 12 months, there have been a number of initiatives to attempt to improve services on the Island, but many Island residents are still receiving a poor service.

“I have been to many meetings where there are promises and blueprints for improvements, but I still get weekly reports of large and long waiting lists, wrong diagnosis, poor service and cuts in service.

“I hear about heartbreaking stories and observe the increase in Serious Case Reviews due to critical incidents. We need to shout aloud that we need real measured change over the next 12 months.”

Island Voices for Change
Cllr Lilley is proposing a series of meetings called “Island Voices” where Island residents experiencing mental health issues or care for those with mental health issues can come, speak and be listened to, so there stories can heard by the decision makers, commissioners and service providers.

The first meeting is at Aspire in Ryde at 1pm on Wednesday 16th May. The founders are Sandy Barsdell, Maggie Boyce, Justin Pinder and Councilor Michael Lilley.

Voice 1 – Sandy of Ryde states:

“I have been involved in mental health services for many years as a carer and a volunteer. I am really sad in 2018 that services within some parts of the public and voluntary sectors are at the lowest point of kindness, compassion and delivery particularly for young people and older adults who are being denied support, help and services.

“I think there has never been a time that is dangerously putting people at risk and lives are simply being lost. I feel let down and deceived.”

Voice 2 – Maggie of Newport states:

“Let’s not sit back and do nothing, allowing things to get worse. Let’s unite, in not allowing things to worsen. Let’s unite for the common good, rise up and take action instead of sitting back and allowing things to fail.

“Let’s make our voices heard and call for action before the systems deteriorate further.”

Voice 3 – Councillor Michael Lilley states:

“In March I attended a funeral of one of my residents in Ryde East, who although died of physical illness he was suffering deep depression at the time. Since the beginning of the year there have been a number of suicides, including a teenager.

“This is just not acceptable to me. One life lost through depression and suicide is one too many, one person sectioned for mental health issues is one too many, one family grieving the loss of a loved one through suicide is one too many, and one suicide attempt because any hope has been lost is one too many.

“We as a community and a society have to stand together and say out loud that we need to make sure we provide the kindness, the tolerance, the support, and the commitment to work together to make sure we have the finest empathetic, efficient, holistic, person centred and kind services on our Island that are there to help when it is needed and we meet our target of Zero, and we meet our mutual and ambitious dream of an Island of hope, opportunity, kindness and good mental health for all.”

The Motion
The motion to be considered at the Isle of Wight council Annual Meeting reads:

IW Council resolves in accordance with the concept of Good Mental Health for All as promoted during the National Mental Health Awareness Week (14th-20th May 2018) to reaffirm the Council’s commitment to the aims and objectives of the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge which IW Council signed up to in 2017.

This reaffirmation to be an annual event until there is a time that there is clear improvement of mental health services on the Isle of Wight, a significant reduction in suicides, suicide attempts and the numbers of children and adults attending secondary mental health services, and the Quality Care Commission judges IW Mental Health Services to be outstanding and not deemed inadequate.

This motion is called in the light of the fact that after a year since the IW Council committed itself to the LA Mental Health Challenge, and the appointment of a Mental Health Champion, that although there is an acknowledgement there has been movement in the right direction, Island residents who are experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are still receiving a substandard and deemed inadequate service from the public sector.

This reaffirmation motion reinforces the Full Council’s commitment to not be complacent and side lines in the mission of seeing radical improvement of mental health services and good mental well-being for all its citizens.

The above article is submitted by Cllr Michael Lilley. Ed

Image: floeschie under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018 7:40am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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