On Wednesday 6th February, Sir David Amess MP attended a parliamentary event bringing together people with living with mental health problems and campaigners to discuss mental health and housing.
Organised by mental health charity Mind, the event - took place in Westminster with the aim of kick-starting conversations to make sure the rights of people with mental health problems are firmly on the housing agenda. The event saw the launch of a short film ‘Beyond Bricks’ by Mind in which three people with mental health problems - Nadia, Gabbi and Sarah – describe the serious impact poor housing can have on our mental health.
Sir David MP listened to the experiences of people affected by poor social housing and the impact of this on their mental health. The MP showed his commitment to ‘Beyond Bricks’ for mental health and housing in Southend by putting their name to a pledge board, committing to place mental health at the heart of future housing policy. Sir David said: 'I was glad to attend this important event and intrigued to hear from people affected by poor mental health. Around one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, and previous research by Mind found more than two in five people with mental health problems living in social housing have seen their mental health deteriorate as a result of where they live.I’m committed to doing all I can to transform this so that everyone gets the information, advice and access to the housing that they need and deserve, to help people recover and stay well.'
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: 'We are really pleased that Sir David took the time to listen to people’s first-hand experiences as well as find out more about some of the work our local Minds do to support people in Southend West. It's really refreshing to see MPs, taking the time to listen to people’s first-hand experiences as well as find out more about some of the work our local Minds do to support people in their area. We cannot let social housing reform be put on the backburner. By participating in this event, we hope that MPs recognise the importance of mental health and their responsibility in making sure that those of us living with mental health problems i can access the support we need to recover, stay well and live fulfilling lives. Mind is calling for the Government to build a social housing strategy with mental health at its heart.”