Councillor Nicola Roulstone, Cabinet Member for Finance, Benefits and Procurement:

NICOLA ROULSTONEAs well as being Cabinet Member for Finance, Benefits and Procurement, I’m also the Council Mental Health Champion.

One in four people struggle with mental health issues at some point during their lives and I’m one of them. I’ve been open about my struggles with post-natal depression and dealing with the stress and anxiety of having children with Special Needs. It’s a difficult road and so I’m very aware that we need to do all we can to support people across the city who are struggling with so many different issues.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and it’s important to have one off awareness days, they are great at raising the profile of a condition or a charity but mental health is an important conversation that we need to have every day.

Having good mental health can help us feel better, sleep better and support us in achieving the things we want to do, and really importantly, can help us have to have more positive relationships with those around us.

Here at the Council we are lucky to have our brilliant Health and Wellbeing team, with counselling services, our Livewell team who can help, and our Chaplaincy service.

For the wider public there are many other routes to go down if you are feeling like you need help.

The NHS provides a good starting place to get access to a wide range of services depending on what you need.

Public Health England has also just launched a campaign, Every Mind Matters, which is full of useful tips and advice, and can even help you to create a personal plan, for free.

Locally, on Monday, we announced the launch of Derby City Life Links, a new Mental Health Service for providing peer support and recovery service that brings together those currently receiving mental health support and those with lived experience of mental ill health to support others with similar needs.

For me, the key to better mental health has been to share my problems, be open and honest with loved ones and to find someone to talk to. It is my hope that the more we talk about mental health the easier it will be for everyone to get the help they need.

I’d also like to welcome the news that the prime minister has appointed Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price as minister for suicide prevention in England. We’ve learned that, tragically, 4500 people take their own lives each year and I hope that this appointment can help bring this number down.