Surrey County Council is set to become one of the first local authorities to sign a pledge to tackle the taboo of mental health.
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling will sign the promise as part of a national programme to get people to talk about mental health.
The Time to Change programme, which is led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, also aims to end the discrimination people with mental health problems experience.
Surrey will contribute by finding work at the authority for people who have experienced mental health issues and working with other organisations to offer awareness training under the banner Time to Change – Surrey.
The pledge comes after the council announced £1.7 million was being invested to help people with mental health problems stay in their own homes and communities.
According to the Department of Health, one in four people will have problems with their mental health.
More than 110,000 adults in Surrey are believed to have a common mental health condition such as depression or anxiety – nearly 20% of over-18s. Another 8,000 people in the county have significant mental health issues. Of those aged 65 and over, an estimated 24,000 have some form of depression.
Helping people with mental health problems currently costs the council almost £15.3 million a year, which is around 6% of the budget for adult social services.
Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling said: “Supporting vulnerable people is at the heart of what the council does so we’re pleased to be one of the first councils to be involved in this programme.
“Playing our part in it will help to build on the work we’re doing to support people with mental health problems, which includes investing £1.7 million in helping them stay in their own homes and communities.”
The pledge will be signed on 21 January at County Hall.