Category Archives: mental health

Fourteen ways councils can help combat loneliness

Tackling loneliness is a local government priority. Here’s some expert advice on how councils can address it


Loneliness can harm physical and mental health and addressing it needs to be a priority for councils.

1) Councils need to team up with partners to combat loneliness; they cannot go it alone

We know that loneliness can harm a person’s mental and physical health. Communities with high levels of social capital have better results in health and education attainment and can enjoy greater levels of social cohesion. For these reasons (among others), loneliness needs to be a key priority for councils.

But loneliness is multifaceted, so local authorities cannot do this alone. It will be vital for councils to work in partnership with community groups, local faith groups, the voluntary sector and the private sector. Local knowledge and local relationships will be critical to offer the personal approach required to support those suffering from loneliness.

There's a better way to support disabled people – listen to us, for starters

Disabled people are being failed in every way by employment and support allowance and the Work Programme. The Spartacus network’s new report has an alternative vision


Disabled people protest at Westminster against cuts in their benefits

Sue Marsh
The Guardian, Wednesday 9 April 2014

Disabled people protest hardest hit
Disabled people protest at Westminster against cuts in their benefits Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Employment and support allowance (ESA), the benefit that provides support if you are too ill or become so disabled that you cannot work, is failing on every level.

Shock over mental health trust’s £5m redundancy bill

Hellesdon Hospital.

Hellesdon Hospital.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
6:30 AM

The mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk, which is trying to fill hundreds of vacancies, spent more than £5m on redundancy payments last year, it has emerged.

Union officials spoke of their shock after bosses at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) admitted they had gone over their forecasted budget on redundancy costs as part of the organisation’s radical redesign of services.

The NHS trust had budgeted £4.8m for anticipated redundancies as part of its strategy to overhaul services to reduce costs by 20pc by 2016.

However, figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request have revealed that the NHS trust spent a total of £5.5m on 145 redundancies between April and December.