HRH Prince Henry of Wales has called for Leeds’s business community to increase its investment in mental health charities in the region, at the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event, which took place in Leeds city centre on Thursday 6th July 2017.
Hosted by Leeds Community Foundation, the event addressed the mental wellbeing of the city’s young people and brought together various mental health projects, charities and beneficiaries of The Leeds Fund (LCF’s latest initiative) which included: Carers Leeds, Getaway Girls, Health for All, LS14 Trust, Leeds Mind, Leeds Women’s Aid, Space2, The Market Place, Touchstone and Women’s Counselling and Therapy Services.
During the event Prince Harry addressed Leeds’s business community to express how grateful he is to those that have already contributed to ending stigmas around mental health. However, he stressed that there is still work to be done.
Prince Harry commented: “I have been so impressed by the commitment of this City and the Leeds Community Foundation in focusing on mental health. You have been leading the way in bringing funding and expertise together in support of local community solutions. I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I are that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles.”
It’s organisations, such as Carers Leeds, which are reliant on funding from the business community in order to keep mental health programmes up and running. Successful programmes can run for six months but unfortunately can be derailed due to lack of financial funding.
The Prince continued: “But let’s not kid ourselves that the job is done – there is much, much more that we can do at every level to make conversations about mental health as commonplace as those about physical health.”
An interactive panel discussion took place which included speakers Tom Riordan – CEO of Leeds City Council, Stevie Ward – Leeds Rhinos Rugby Player and Founder of ‘Mantality’, Emma Holmes – CEO of the Market Place, and Kate Hainsworth – Deputy CEO of Leeds Community Foundation, as well as some young people who shared their stories around mental health.
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds is most certainly blessed to have such a strong third sector and I am delighted to have been a part of the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event. Leeds continues to do well economically but not enough people benefit from that. Employers can help us become a more compassionate city by signing up to the Mindful Employer standard.”
For more information regarding The Leeds Fund and for details on how to get involved click here.