Tackling mental health challenges is a top priority for Labour-led Milton Keynes Council. Both Children’s and Adult Social Care Services have made addressing mental health problems a priority.
On Wednesday 13th July a conference was held, bringing together headteachers and governors from across Milton Keynes, to talk about how to promote a safe and stable environment for children and young people. Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said:
“I was delighted to attend the conference. It is very important that schools consider the best way to support young people who may be starting to experience the early signs of mental health. Early intervention is the key.”
The council is committed to tackling early signs of mental health, and is especially keen to ensure that young people get support as they transition to being adults.
Both schools and the NHS, key partners with the council, are under huge financial pressures as a result of the Government’s consistent under-funding and cuts in support.
This is borne out by research from the widely respected Kings Fund. On the 7th July 2017, responding to the new NHS Providers report, The State of the NHS Provider Sector, the Kings Fund stated:
“This report yet again raises concerns around how good intentions on mental health are often not translating into better services on the ground. The NHS is under severe financial pressure ‘Mental health services must be at the heart of ambitions to transform the NHS to make sure it can meet future need.'” 
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care added:
“We are very keen to develop close working across schools, Adult Social Care and the NHS. This will allow early intervention support, and help to provide pathways for people to live independently and to manage their mental health challenges.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan concluded:
“Depression, just one area of mental health, affects around 15,468 individuals in Milton Keynes.  The wider range of mental health problems points to a high number. Around 27,397 people are expected to have a common mental disorder by 2020 locally.  It is important to build good working relationships across a range of organisations, from schools to the NHS, but we also have to continue to ensure that funds across a range of mental health services are protected and not cut.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan: 01908 560454 or 07881209775
Cllr Nigel Long: 07799035756
Follow Zoe Nolan on:
1. Kings Fund. 7 July
2. Milton Keynes Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2015/16
3. Milton Keynes Mental Health Strategy 2014-17