CITY of York Council is marking World Mental Health Day today by committing to the principles of a 'Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.'

Public Health England said the Concordat described a shared commitment to preventing mental health problems and promoting good mental health.

Cllr Carol Runciman, York council executive member for health, said she was proud to support the concordat with fellow councils across the region.

"It is only right that on world mental health day we make this commitment to work to better prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health," she said.

“We know that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year [1] which is why it is so important to talk about it and why with fellow partners we are making this commitment.

“This concordat is in addition to our work to challenge the stigma around mental health through the Time to Change project and the establishment of a multi-agency mental health partnership. These initiatives show our desire to improve the mental health of all our residents across York, something which is a key priority.”

Corinne Harvey, Public Health Consultant in Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Good mental health is essential for everybody to thrive; it helps us deal with life’s stresses, it makes us more productive in education, in work and at home. It enables us to build better relationships at home and in our community and good mental health is also associated with better physical health.

“Sadly, unlike physical wellbeing, mental health is often taken for granted until it becomes a problem.

"The Prevention Concordat seeks to change the approach to mental health, from one that only focuses on those who are unwell at times of highest need to one that also seeks to improve mental wellbeing for all. By doing this, we hope to increase understanding of mental health problems and reduce the stigma and discrimination that is still experienced by many.”

Local authorities will be working to adopt whole population approaches, that not only strengthen individual and community resilience but also address the wider determinants of mental health, such as housing and employment and tackle stigma and discrimination.

"In addition, there will be targeted work with groups at higher risk of mental health problems at all ages."