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‘On the Edge’ tabled at Westminster

Posted on 27th November, 2007

Glenn Roberts, Keith Portlock, Yvette Denham and Richard Feltham visited Westminster recently where they met with the All Parties Parliamentary Group for Mental Health to present the ‘On the Edge’ project and to gain support for the mental health education programme that raises awareness of early psychosis. The programme in the form of a play – ‘On the Edge’ – and supporting tools is delivered in schools and specifically targets the 15 year old school audience to understand and promote early detection of psychosis. As well as MPs in attendance at the Parliamentary Group meeting, there were also others who had an interest in mental health including the Prince’s Trust Manager, the Lead Social Worker for England and representatives from Connexions and the Royal College of Psychiatry. As Glenn Roberts, Consultant Psychiatrist in Rehabilitation and Recovery explains: “The aim of the day was to share the success of the project to date and to present our plans to develop a local charity, On the Edge: Devon, which aims to work with Devon Early Intervention teams and provide this mental health education programme for every 15 year old in schools and colleges across Devon from September 2008. “Our presentation was very well received by all those that attended and we had a lively debate with MPs who were interested in psychosis, the role of teachers, the influence of street drugs and the capacity and penetration of early intervention teams .In particular they showed support for our topic of mental health education in schools in support of early intervention.” One of the outcomes from the meeting was that the Chair, Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to gain MPs views and support. EDMs allow MPs to express their opinion on a subject and to canvass support for their views by inviting other members to add their signatures in support of the motion. In the event that an EDM attracts signatures from more than half the MPs there is a good chance that it would then trigger discussion of the motion and as we publish this page, 77 MPs have signed the motion. Locally, the new charity will have Keith Portlock as its Chair. Newly appointed project coordinator, Richard Feltham, will be looking at ways of attracting any local funding as well as promoting the work of the project and the benefits it can bring to schools and young people across Devon. For further information contact Richard on 01392 264528 or email