Last week I visited St Mary’s Hospital in Armley, where a new unit for young people with complex mental health needs is under construction.
They are a year away from completion and the steel frames of the building are now up. I was thrilled to be invited, alongside Bryan Machin, the Executive Director of Finance and Resources for Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, to sign one of the steel beams which will forever be part of the unit.
It is vital that we prioritise further investment in our mental health services, especially given the increased strain they will experience in the unprecedented circumstances of Covid-19.
Supporting young people’s mental health, particularly through prevention and early intervention, is absolutely crucial. On average, one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime, and half of adult mental health illnesses develop before the age of 14.
The addition of the new mental health unit at St Mary’s Hospital is therefore very welcome, and I am looking forward to its completion next year.