On 2nd July Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that mental health services are available in (1) acute, and (2) community, care settings (a) during, and (b) after, the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, asked a follow up question focusing on the role of faith communities in supporting those with poor mental health due to Covid-19.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, at least one of the churches in my diocese recently set up a mental well-being centre, providing support groups, a helpline and signposting to professional services. Has the Minister considered inviting churches and other faith communities, with their knowledge of, trust within and connections to the local community, including networks of young people, to participate in the response to the mental health needs caused by Covid-19?
Lord Bethell: The right reverend Prelate makes a good point, and I thank very much indeed those from all faith groups who have provided important pastoral support during this difficult time. On a practical matter, the funding for the mental health projects from our £5 million fund has gone to 130 different charities through the coronavirus mental health response fund. We are assessing the impact of those and we look forward to the recommendations of the Mind and mental health consortia which are behind that fund.