An 'urgent' summit has been announced focused on preventing a "mental health crisis" in south London in the fallout from Covid-19 and the latest lockdown.

NHS trusts and local authorities will host the event in recognition of the "very significant psychological fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic."

Research shows unemployment, financial problems and isolation are significantly associated with poor mental wellbeing and increased rates of common mental disorders.

It has also hit some communities, specially BAME, far harder than others, and the 'urgent virtual summit' will "help to shape our plans to meet the needs of people who may be at risk of becoming mentally unwell due to the impact of Covid-19."

The event is led by the South London Mental Health and Community Partnerships, and representatives include Oxleas NHS FT, South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust, and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

It is also run in partnership with local south London councils, CCGs, Healthwatch, Public Health England, Citizens UK and experts by experience.

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Matthew Trainer, Chief Executive of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, said: ”I am very much looking forward to this summit to work with partners across South London to reduce the devastating impact of Covid-19 on local people's mental health.”

A previous ' Urgent Mental Health Prevention Summit' was held in June with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and local authorities from Croydon, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth.

The result of the summit was the creation of the south London 'Covid-19 Preventing Mental-ill health Taskforce.'

The new summit, held later today on November 10, will address the progress made since previous summits, as well as exploring current mental health trends and hear from people with lived experience of mental ill health.

Sir Norman Lamb, chair of the Taskforce, said: “We understand that there will be a very significant psychological fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which we know will hit some communities more than others.

"Together with all of our partners, including local authorities, faith groups, third sector organisations across south London, we will endeavour to provide support and empower communities to be as resilient as possible through these exceptionally challenging times.”

The summit will also mark the start of major listening campaign 'South London Listens', which will see the organisations reach out to the communities they serve to help co-produce a two-year action plan with residents.

The plan will be published in Spring 2021.

Dr Jacqui Dyer, Chair of Black Thrive and Co-Vice Chair of the Taskforce said: “We know some people are experiencing mental health problems for the first time, as a result of Covid-19.

"Research shows unemployment and financial problems and isolation are significantly associated with poor mental wellbeing and increased rates of common mental disorders.

"We need to do everything we can to protect the mental health of people across south London and address the systemic inequalities which we know adversely impact our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities."

Beverley Wong, member of South London Citizens, CHIPs part-time Family Support Worker and Taskforce member, added: "Good mental wellbeing is important to our communities because without it our struggles can multiply.

"South London Citizens is a member-led organisation made up of schools, faith organisations, universities and charities. We are proud to be working with the mental health trusts and local authorities involved in this initiative to ensure that community voices are at the heart of the solution.”