We need an enhanced, powerful and far-reaching effort to protect the lives of our generation | Zac Arnold

Zac Arnold, Labour’s Candidate for Lydney East in tomorrow’s Forest of Dean District Council elections, is to call for a more “enhanced, powerful and far-reaching” effort to “protect the lives
of a generation”.


The proposals come in light of the death of well-loved Gloucestershire teen Callum Paskin who is believed to have passed away as a result of an Epileptic Seizure whilst asleep in his Quedgeley home. The proposals also come after a young Lydney man in his 20s tragically committed suicide
earlier this week.


Zac Arnold is set to call for a “united, non-political effort against the mental health crisis in the Forest of Dean and an enhanced, powerful and far-reaching awareness initiative to tackle the stigmas and consequences of Epilepsy, Autism and other additional needs” in a bid to “protect
the lives of our generation.”


According to the Epilepsy Society: “Anyone can develop epilepsy, at any time of life. It happens in people of all ages, races and social classes. Epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in children and in people over 65. There are over half a million people with epilepsy in the UK, so around 1 in
100 people.”


According to the Guardian in 2018, “Growing numbers of teenagers in England and Wales are killing themselves, official figures show, sparking fresh concern about the deepening crisis in young people’s mental health.


There were 177 suicides among 15- to 19-year-olds in 2017, compared with 110 in 2010 and more than in every year since then except 2015, when the toll was 186, the Office of National Statistics data shows.”


The proposals will include the development of a cross-authority board working with local schools, the police, the National Health Service and other bodies and authorities to develop a “joined up approach to protecting our generation”. Other proposals include a large-scale public
awareness campaign and an education programme in partnership with local schools.


Zac Arnold said: “With a deepening mental health crisis, a failure of our authorities to meet their responsibilities and a lack of public awareness around issues such as Epilepsy and other additional needs, the lives of a generation need protecting.


“We need to abandon this stiff upper lip mentality and talk about the real issues. But, not only do we need to talk about the real issues. We need to take real, hard-hitting action to tackle the
problems.


“This is why I am launching this project and I am asking for local schools, political parties on all sides and other authorities to get on board. We need to take real, immediate action to, wherever we can, protect the lives of our young people both here in the Forest of Dean and in the South West as a whole.”

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