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News Report Page 18 of 18
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Community of practice projects shine this mental health awareness week

THIS mental health awareness week, local NHS Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) are raising awareness of the importance of good mental health and reaching out when you need support.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to improving community mental health services, the NHS has joined together with Social Care, and the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sectors in Cheshire and Wirral to form the Community Wellbeing Alliance.

1 of the top priorities for the Alliance is improving access to wider practical support in the community to tackle issues which contribute to poor mental health including loneliness, support with welfare issues and improving physical health and fitness.

CWP medical Director, Dr Anushta Sivananthan, said:- "For most people with severe mental illness, the diagnosed problem isn't all they need or want help with. People need mental health services that go beyond symptoms and illnesses, that sees the person rather than the diagnosis; and that everyone works together to promote wellbeing. Through the Alliance, I'm delighted that we've been able to fund 15 additional community projects across Cheshire and Wirral to really get the root of some of the issues that contribute to poor mental health, including loneliness. Loneliness, which is the theme for this year's mental health awareness week, impacts millions of people in the UK. Research has found loneliness has sadly increased due to the COVID Pandemic."

In Wirral, 1 of the projects is being run by local community interest company, JourneyMEN, who are making a significant difference by supporting men who are experiencing a decline in their mental health and wellbeing. This can include talking therapies or peer support from people with similar experiences.

Phil Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, JourneyMEN, said:- "Working with CWP and other voluntary organisations across Wirral we are making inroads into debunking the stigma around loneliness and men talking about their mental health. This year's mental health awareness week can help us to break down even more barriers and help men right across our community to access the support they need from JourneyMEN or any 1 of the community organisations collaborating to supplement CWP's mental health provision."

Other supporting Wirral organisations include:- Tomorrow's Women who are running courses to support confidence building, reducing anxiety, those affected by domestic abuse as well as mental health support and advice sessions.

Dr Sivananthan continues:- "The Cheshire and Wirral Community Wellbeing Alliance is committed to widening access to mental health support. Early intervention is just as important for mental health as it is for physical health conditions, so please reach out if you or a loved 1 are struggling. If your mental health quickly gets worse, this can be called a mental health crisis. Our urgent mental health helpline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and is open to people of all ages; including:- children and young people. Please call:- 08001456485, and our dedicated local staff will support you to access the help you need."

IMPRESS calls for law makers to retain news publisher protections set out in Crime and Courts Act 2013

COMMENTING on the announcement that the Government intends to repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 through its proposed media bill, IMPRESS CEO Ed Procter said:- "The repeal of section 40 will limit legal protections for news publishers who subscribe to Royal Charter approved regulation and remove the incentive for news publishers to be well regulated. The decision marks a missed opportunity to ensure access to justice for ordinary people who are harmed by the press and equally, to protect news publishers from exorbitant lawsuits brought about by those with vast wealth and power.”

Ed Procter continued:- "Repealing Section 40 runs contrary to Government policy objectives to protect press freedom, promote online safety and to protect journalists from Strategic Litigation against Public Participation (SLAPPs). At the very least, the protections for well regulated news publishers must be preserved."

Section 40 is a carefully balanced law, made up of 2 parts.

Part 1:- Incentivises news publishers to be well regulated and protects those who opt in to approved regulation from paying the legal costs of those that sue them. This provides important protections for ethically minded journalists to publish public interest journalism without fear of costly legal reprisal.

Part 2:- Exposes news publishers who opt out of Royal Charter approved regulation, to the risk of paying the legal costs of those that sue them. This is controversial only because most of the large news publishing groups have opted out of approved regulation and may be exposed to such risks. These risks can be easily avoided by subscribing to a scheme of approved regulation.

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