In a bid to prioritize mental health and overall wellbeing, Leeds City Council is set to unveil a groundbreaking service called ‘Being You Leeds.’ The citywide initiative, scheduled to commence in July, aims to support residents of Leeds aged 16 and over in maintaining good mental health. Operating seven days a week, including evenings and weekends, the service will offer a range of wellbeing groups and activities.

Being You Leeds will build upon the previous efforts of Mentally Healthy Leeds and Your Space services, reflecting the council’s unwavering dedication to promoting mental health and empowering individuals to lead healthier lives.

Comprising three core components, the service’s first element focuses on bolstering existing wellbeing groups in the city, while also facilitating the co-creation of new groups to explore effective strategies for promoting positive wellbeing. The second component entails providing comprehensive training to organizations and individuals, equipping them with the necessary skills to support individuals at risk of poor mental health. Finally, the third element aims to combat the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues.

Several experienced and well-established voluntary sector partners, including Touchstone, Barca, Hamara, Health for All, Holbeck Together, LS14 Trust, and Women’s Health Matters, will collaborate to deliver the service across Leeds.

Councillor Salma Arif, the executive member for adult social care, public health, and active lifestyles at Leeds City Council, emphasized the significance of the Being You Leeds launch. She stated, “The launch of Being You Leeds is a significant element of the Leeds Mental Health Strategy, ensuring that people from all communities feel comfortable to talk about their mental health, that we have a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, and ultimately, that Leeds residents have good mental health and stay well for longer. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of mental health support, and it is essential we get into the hearts of our communities to provide it.”

Victoria Eaton, the Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council, echoed Arif’s sentiments, emphasizing the fundamental role of mental health in overall wellbeing. Eaton stated, “Good mental health is a vital part of everyone’s wellbeing, and in Leeds, we are committed to working with all our partners to ensure we can support people in the most effective way possible. The Being You Leeds service will help us take this support to the next level, and we look forward to getting it up and running.”

With the launch of Being You Leeds, the city of Leeds takes a significant stride towards prioritizing mental health and fostering a community where individuals can openly discuss their mental wellbeing. As the service rolls out, it is poised to make a lasting impact, ensuring Leeds residents enjoy good mental health and lead fulfilling lives.