Cash for mental health ‘champions’

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Thousands of pounds will be spent on training 128 “community champions” to help people who are suffering from mental health problems.

The Batley and Spen District Committee approved £14,000 in funding for the scheme at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Community Links will deliver two-day courses in Mental Health First Aid Training to adults and youngsters. There will be four cohorts of 16 adult trainers and four groups of 16 youngsters learning in the scheme across all Batley and Spen wards.

A report drafted for the committee reads: “The training will equip participants to recognise and respond appropriately to signs of mental ill health and raise awareness of the range of local provision available to support ‘at risk’ individuals.”

The committee has identified improving health and wellbeing as one of its priorities.

Since 2012, people living with a mental health condition in Batley and Spen has risen from 20.5 per cent to 31.9 per cent, according to the report. The number of people feeling lonely has also increased.