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Publication date:- 2017-03-17

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 10.

Edge Hill suicide prevention work recognised by Health Select Committee

2 mental health projects ran by Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community have been highlighted in a Health Select Committee paper. The publication 'Suicide Prevention' suggests that the Government's suicide prevention strategy needs greater focus on implementation, and identifies projects including:- 'Tackling the Blues' and 'Active Blues' as exemplars of good work in this area.

Tackling the Blues is a sports based programme targeting children and young people who are experiencing, or are at risk of developing, mental illness and Active Blues, which is funded by Sport England, helps inactive men aged 35 to 50, to become active and improve their mental wellbeing. Drawing upon research conducted as part of Tackling the Blues at Edge Hill University, Professor Andy Smith told the Committee about the benefits of focusing on a whole School approach to mental health and wellbeing and developing a culture where mental health is a priority.

Professor Andy Smith said:- "It was an honour to be invited to speak to the Health Select Committee, as part of its national enquiry on suicide prevention, to discuss our collaborative sports based mental health research with Everton in the Community. To have our partnership work recognised by the Committee as a model of good practice, and an example of how to practically implement aspects of the government's national suicide prevention strategy, is especially pleasing. It is further testimony to our longstanding commitment towards adopting a collaborative, impact focused, approach to research and community working which is of real benefit to the lives of others."

Michael Salla, Director of Health at Everton in the Community, added:- "We are delighted to be able to support such an important strategy and to be able to offer our input and guidance via our two named projects and our academic partnership. Our programmes have made a real contribution to our local communities and it is an honour that this has been recognised at such a level as the Health Select Committee."

Chair of the Health Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, said:- "If the Government wishes to be truly ambitious in reducing the toll of suicide, there are many further steps which it could take, which we have set out in this report. The Government must prioritise effective implementation of its strategy because without it, any strategy is of very limited value."

₤3 million investment into care for the vulnerable

WIRRAL Council is investing almost ₤3 million towards improving Residential Care, Home Care and Supported Living within the borough. The Council aims to make sure there is a range of high quality, appropriate services which offer people choices for their care needs. The investment of ₤2.9 million, from April 2017, will help secure these services.

Cllr Christine Jones, Wirral's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said:- "Choice, quality and availability of care services is vital. When people need these services, they are often at their most vulnerable and it is so important they are able to access the type of service they need. We are proposing to invest almost ₤3 million into making sure our residents can access Nursing and Residential Care of the highest quality.  We have consulted with the care providers in the borough, and we believe this investment goes a long way to ensuring a responsive and sustainable market of care options in the borough to support our most vulnerable residents."

In Wirral, around 68,000 residents live with some form of disability and, by 2030, almost a quarter of the population will be over 65.

"Having a disability, or becoming older and frailer, should never be a barrier to living an independent life. Each and every one of our residents deserves to be able to access the support they need, at the right quality, when they need it. Even considering our huge financial challenges at the moment; with ₤45 million to save in just the coming year; I am delighted we have one again demonstrated our commitment to our vulnerable residents and our 20 Pledges by investing in these vital services." said Cllr Jones.

Cabinet will consider a report proposing the investment a meeting, that is due to be held on 27 March 2017.

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