Bishop of Southwark raises concern at mental health care disparities based on ethnicity

On the 6th of September 2018 the House of Lords debated the motion ‘that this House takes note of NHS and healthcare data and how that data could be used to improve the health of the nation.’ The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

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The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too express appreciation to the noble Lord, Lord Freyberg, for securing a debate on a subject so full of possibilities for enriching our knowledge and improving the lives of fellow citizens. In England alone the National Health Service deals with more than 1 million patients every 36 hours. The potential use of data is enormous.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle, who takes a special interest in health matters, is particularly sorry not to be able to participate in this debate. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, on the quality of his maiden speech. I was, furthermore, particularly grateful for the wisdom of the noble Lord, Lord Kakkar, who spoke from his great expertise in this field. My focus is on mental healthcare data, which was recently highlighted in the Church of England’s toolkit on minority ethnic mental health issues, launched at our General Synod in July.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark raises concern at mental health care disparities based on ethnicity”

Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas

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On 20th June 2018 Lord Cotter asked Her Majesty’s Government “what proportion of mental health treatment is funded by the National Health Service nationally as against local funding.” The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I speak for one of the most rural parts of England. Does the Minister recognise the higher level of suicide in rural areas? In part, this is due to rural isolation and the sparsity of mental health provision. What plans do the Government have to increase local and accessible provision in these areas? Continue reading “Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas”

Bishop of Durham asks Government to hire more Personal Independence Payment assessors with expertise in mental health

On 19th June 2018 Baroness Thomas of Winchester asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they intend to take to improve the outcome of Personal Independence Payment assessments in the light of the increasing number of successful appeals.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, personal independence payments make a significant difference to those living with mental health difficulties. Sadly, ​Mind found that only 8% of the 800 it surveyed felt that the assessor understood their mental health and 90% felt that the claims process itself had a negative impact on their well-being. Will Her Majesty’s Government require assessment providers to ensure that they hire more assessors with proper experience of working with people with mental health issues, and audit the quality of the mental health training? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government to hire more Personal Independence Payment assessors with expertise in mental health”

Bishop of St Albans highlights contribution NHS chaplains make to supporting mental health of colleagues

On 17th May 2018 Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Health Service are taking to support the mental health of the NHS workforce in England.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the impact and contribution that NHS chaplains make to the mental health of their colleagues? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights contribution NHS chaplains make to supporting mental health of colleagues”

Bishop of St Albans highlights mental health link to poverty, and raises deprivation in rural areas

On 14th December 2017 Lord Bird asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to address the root causes of poverty and disadvantage in the United Kingdom.” In the short debate on the question, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the link between poverty and mental health, and also the need for action on rural deprivation:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for this debate. I want to make just a couple of points in the time I have.

Plenty of statistics have been bandied around today, and I can quote even more: 14 million people, by some counts, are living in poverty in this country, including 4 million children. The trouble with those and other statistics is that they hide the individual lives they represent: for example, the three men, whom many of us have seen, in sleeping bags in Westminster Tube station as I came in at 8 am yesterday morning; or Joe—not his real name—whom I met this morning in St Peter’s Street in St Albans as I went out to get my morning paper. There has been a visible increase in the number of people on our streets in places such as St Albans over recent months. I have got to know a number of them, and this morning, knowing I was coming in for this debate, I thought I had to sit and talk to Joe just for a minute. I felt I could not in all conscience come and speak on a subject such as this without actually finding out his name and just a little about his story. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights mental health link to poverty, and raises deprivation in rural areas”

Bishop of Worcester says church can help society improve mental health services for black and ethnic minority communities

On 28th November 2017  Lord Boateng led a debate in the House of Lords “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in improving mental health services for people from black and ethnic minority communities.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I, too, am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Boateng, for securing this debate and, like the noble Lord, Lord Ouseley, pay tribute not only to his eloquent introduction but to all he has done in this area. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.​
Some of the evidence which has already been cited—there is lots more— concerning black and minority-ethnic individuals and mental health is a dreadful indictment of our society. One of the most shocking statistics to me is that UK minority-ethnic individuals are 40% more likely than white Britons to come into contact with mental health services through the criminal justice system rather than through referral from GPs or talking therapies. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester says church can help society improve mental health services for black and ethnic minority communities”

Bishop of Worcester asks Government to improve mental health treatment and tackle stigma

On 28th November 2017 Baroness Wheeler asked Her Majesty’s Government “what actions they are taking to address the concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission in its review published in October about the particular difficulties faced by children and young people in vulnerable circumstances, such as looked-after children and those with learning disabilities, in accessing mental health care.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: Does the Minister agree that there remains, despite lots of good work, a terrible stigma attached to mental health problems? Will he assure us that the Government are committed to tackling it, as we seek to do in the Church, while also improving provision for identification and treatment? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government to improve mental health treatment and tackle stigma”