This an issue which is very important to the people of Thanet and Ramsgate, because according to the Kent and Medway Public Health Observatory (KMPHO) we have some of the highest rates of mental illness in Kent. The KMPHO has also identified that Ramsgate wards Central Harbour, Eastcliff, Newington and Northwood have some of highest rates of mental illness in Thanet.
|Source Mental Health Needs Assessment Thanet 2014 Kent & Medway Public Health Observatory|
This is hardly surprising because public health researchers identified many years ago a link between poor mental health and poverty and deprivation. Sadly Ramsgate has, by any definition, the highest rates of deprivation and poverty in south east England with benefit dependency, unemployment, low wages, poor housing, pensioner and child poverty being some of the worst in the county. To help to tackle this serious health problem both Thanet and Kent County Council need to be focusing on regenerating the areas most affected by mental illness. We need to focus on improving the schools in Central Harbour, Eastcliff, Newington and Northwood, providing more decent social housing and creating more well paid jobs.
But even if we do this, successive Conservative and Labour governments have cut mental health services to the bone. So although we are becoming more aware and understanding of mental health issues the services to help sufferers , young and old, are massively inadequate. There is an urgent need to reverse these cuts, especially in areas like Ramsgate and Thanet where the need for excellent mental services are the greatest.
If elected to Kent County Council on May 4th I will work with community groups, health professionals, schools and decision makers to help to tackle and reduce the unacceptably high rates of mental illness in Thanet and Ramsgate.
Published and promoted by Ian Driver, Independent Candidate, KCC Election, Ramsgate Division. 45 Sea View Road, Broadstairs CT10 1BX