Tyneside and Northumberland Mind today announced that North East Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling is to become a patron of the charity.
Chair of Tyneside Mind, Helen McStravick made the announcement at the charity's Annual General Meeting held in Gateshead, also attended by national Mind CEO, Paul Farmer. Tyneside Mind delivers mental health services across Tyneside and Northumberland.
Mind estimate that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. They believe that while the overall number of people with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.
Despite mental health issues being common they are often seen differently from physical illness but thankfully this is changing. The percentage of people agreeing that “mental illness is an illness like any other” increased from 71 per cent in 1994 to 77 per cent in 2011.
Locally Tyneside Mind promotes positive mental health, providing flexible, responsive and sustainable support services. They make it possible for people who experience mental distress to live full lives and play their full part in society. They offer a range of services based on the Recovery model where all services are focused on improving and enhancing an individual’s wellbeing, based on the principles and practices of person centred planning and self-directed support.
Jude Kirton-Darling said "It is an honour and a privilege to become a patron of Tyneside Mind. They do fantastic work and I am delighted to be able to support them. It is an issue close to my heart because I've lost close friends.
Mental health issues are not uncommon but they are still not given the same weight in the NHS and within society as physical illnesses. I want to see that change and hope that I can play my part in breaking down those barriers. People are facing a double whammy at the moment as the economy means people are worried about jobs and paying the bills. At the same time cuts to services are limiting the support and help available. That's why the services Tyneside Mind provide are absolutely invaluable.
Stuart Dexter, CEO of Tyneside Mind said“we are delighted to announce Judith as our new patron. As north east MEP Judith represents people across the whole Tyneside Mind area and her work to promote wellbeing in the workplace resonates with the work that we do locally.”