Wyre Council has appointed Councillor Julie Robinson as their Mental Health Champion to raise awareness of mental health issues and the support that is available across the borough.

Councillor David Henderson, Leader of Wyre Council comments, “The importance of good mental health has been much discussed in recent years and there is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has affected many people. Lockdowns and restrictions have resulted in periods of social isolation for many. Add to this financial and health concerns and it’s clear to see that the pandemic is likely to have an impact on mental health for a significant period in the future.

“We want to ensure that as a council we are here to support those in need in our community. Appointing a Mental Health Champion reaffirms our commitment to raising awareness of the importance of good mental health, the issues that can affect our wellbeing and the support that is available to our residents. It also provides a point of contact for support groups and services to tell us about what help is available for local residents.

Councillor Robinson is the first person to hold this important role for Wyre following a unanimous vote in favour at Wyre’s full council meeting last night. She will hold the position until the next local elections in 2023.

Councillor Robinson explains what she hopes to achieve in her new role, “This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a good time to reflect on the impact the last year has had on us all. Thankfully people are talking more openly about mental health but there is still work to be done to end the stigma associated with it. As we move into the new normal, people are trying to adjust once again and looking after our mental health is something that’s important to us all particularly considering the affect the pandemic has had on everyone, people of all ages and backgrounds.

“I am Wyre’s representative on the Joint Lancashire Health and Scrutiny Committee which is where the initial idea for this new role came from. My experience and interest in this field led me to put myself forward for this role which I’m delighted to now start. I hope to be the council’s advocate for mental health issues, play a part in helping to signpost people to support and help promote activities that can make a positive contribution to mental health.

“As a council we run lots of activities to help people get outside and connect with others and with nature. We’ve recently started up our guided walks, cycle rides and bump and buggy walks again and we look forward to bringing back other activities such as the gardening club at Memorial Park, Fun Arts at Garstang Library and the Harmony and Health singing groups across the borough.”

Councillor Robinson is keen to hear about support groups and services that are available in Wyre. Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

To find out what support is available and what activities are on offer in Wyre follow @HealthierWyre on Facebook or Twitter or visit www.wyre.gov.uk/health