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Mayor Steve Rotheram launches mental health summit to tackle long-term effects of pandemic and cost of living crisis

Business and health leaders from across the Liverpool City Region come together for first time to address workplace mental health
Event aims to address a chronic problem costing UK economy £118bn a year
Writer of hit TV series The Responder to share experiences of mental breakdown
Mayor says it is ‘time for a conversation about mental health’
Some of the biggest names in health and business will join forces in the Liverpool City Region next month in a bid to address the UK’s growing mental health crisis – which is costing the UK economy £117bn every year.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has launched the Mental Health and Work Summit to address concerns over the long-term effects of COVID-19, lockdowns and the ongoing cost of living crisis on people’s mental wellbeing.

The mayor will be joined at the event at by Jo Bibby, Director of Health at The Health Foundation and Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Screenwriter Tony Schumacher, creator of the BBC1 series The Responder, will share his experience of mental ill-health in a live conversation.

He will be joined by Radio City’s Mick Coyle, host of the award-winning Mental Health Monday Podcast, for a live recording of the 250th episode of the podcast to close the summit.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“The last two years have been devastating for people up and down the country – and I’ve seen all too well the damage that COVID and the associated lockdowns have inflicted on people’s wellbeing. I warned throughout the pandemic that, once we made it through the medical crisis, that we would face a mental health crisis too.

“The loss of loved ones, the isolation of lockdowns and loneliness experienced by many – coupled with a spiralling cost of living crisis – has been unbearable for some to cope with, and so it’s little wonder that the UK is now in the midst of a debilitating mental health crisis.

“When people in our communities are feeling at their lowest, it can be hard for them to pick themselves back up and carry on as normal. It’s okay to be not okay. That’s where we have a duty to try to help people by offering them the support they need to get back on track. But we need to go much further – and that’s why I am launching this Mental Health Summit.

“It’s time for a serious conversation about mental health – one that doesn’t just skirt around the issue but is willing to dig deep and identify the root causes that are affecting people in our communities. It’s a crucial starting point on our journey to ensure that we are giving people the mental health support they need and deserve.”

Prior to COVID-19, poor mental health was the most common cause of long-term sickness absence and it is estimated that mental health problems cost the UK economy £117.9 billion per year.

The pandemic has also disrupted many aspects of work, with some research indicating that the mental health problem is being exacerbated by rising prices, especially for those with an existing condition.

Businesses, community and voluntary groups, employees, freelancers and people looking for job opportunities have been invited to the open summit.

This event is designed for everyone, including people involved in the public, private or third sector, currently in work or considering a entering the workplace, part of a larger organisation or self-employed.

Jake Mills, stand-up comedian, mental health campaigner and the founder of Chasing the Stigma and the Hub of Hope app, will host the event at the ACC Liverpool conference centre on May 9.

Practical activities and workshops will explore opportunities to help create a better world of work and improve wellbeing.

Register for the Liverpool City Region Health and Work Summit.