Mental health discussed at district event

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 October 2015


The work of voluntary groups in Exmouth and East Devon has been hailed by district bosses.

East Devon District Council has held its annual Working Together for the Future of East Devon event, which was attended by around 100 representatives from voluntary and community groups.

Councillor Jill Elson, cabinet member for sustainable homes and communities, who was responsible for organising the event, which broadly aims to improve communications between the voluntary and statutory sectors, said she was delighted with the high level of attendance from the groups, and town and parish councils.

The event was also attended by East Devon MP Hugo Swire and Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish.

Cllr Elson said: “This year’s Working Together theme focused on keeping well, and covered mental, as well as physical health issues.

“With as many as one in five young people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, the mental well-being of our East Devon residents is a matter of great concern to us.

“Dementia, too, is a serious issue and it is shocking to know that 300 people in the Sid Valley alone have an official dementia diagnosis.

“But I am so pleased that this year’s Working Together event has brought together so many local agencies and organisations, which are all passionate about providing such a high level of support and who are focused on improving the quality of the lives of our residents.

“We are also extremely proud that we are able to provide financial assistance for groups through the Parishes Together Funding scheme, which we jointly administer in partnership with Devon County Council.

“This excellent scheme has helped provide practical support to a number of community-based organisations, including The Project – an outstanding mental health group for young people.”

Speakers at the event included Wendy Weidner, of Dementia UK, Rachel Johnstone, of Sid Valley Memory Café, Debbie Humberstone, from The Project, Tim Tod and Ros Arscott, of Young Devon, and Dr Anthony Hemsley, of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation.

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