Chi backs Mencap ‘Listen To Us’ campaign
Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central is backing ‘Listen To Us’ campaign by the learning disability charity Mencap.
Last week Chi attended a Parliamentary event to learn about Mencap’s new report exploring isolation and loneliness which found people with a learning disability described their lives as a “prison,” with limited social contact during the pandemic causing them to feel suicidal.
Ms Onwurah said:
“This week (20-26th June) is Learning Disability Week and I am backing Mencap’s campaign to make sure the everyone understands what life is like for people with a learning disability.
“Meeting and hearing stories from people with a learning disability and their families about their experiences during the pandemic shows the reality behind the shocking statistics we’ve seen around the impact of loneliness and isolation.
She believes the government need to make sure people with a learning disability can get the support they need, like respite care and day services. And ensure sufficient day services are open to provide local activities and social opportunities for people with a learning disability.
“I’m supporting Mencap’s ‘Listen To Us’ campaign to ensure we combat loneliness through measures including community services and activities, alongside better support aimed at treating and managing poor mental health for people with a learning disability.
“People with a learning disability need to be able to access the support they need and deserve quickly.”
Notes to editors:
- For further information please contact Mencap’s media team on: email@example.com 02076965414
- There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.
- Photo attached of Chi with Mencap member and supporters backing the campaign
- What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which means that people might need support with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;
Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;
People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.
- About Learning Disability Week 2022 #LDWeek22
Learning Disability Week is from 20th-26th June 2022 and is focused on people’s experiences of living Life with a learning Disability. We know that many people don’t know what a learning disability is, or what life can be like for somebody that has one.
This year, we want Learning Disability Week to:
- Educate and raise awareness about learning disability
- Smash stigmas and show the positive element of living life with a learning disability
- Fight and campaign for a fair society
- About the campaign:
Mencap’s new mental health campaign, ‘Listen To Us’ launched on the 12th May
To access the report, ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health and Loneliness of People with a Learning Disability, visit: https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-04/LONELINESS%20ENGAGEMENT%20FUND%20REPORT.pdf
To access the Easy Read version, visit: https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-04/LONELINESS%20ENGAGEMENT%20FUND%20REPORT%20EASY%20READ%20MARCH%202022.pdf
About the data:
Mencap ran a survey with 580 family members and carers of people with a learning disability in the UK. The survey ran for 3 weeks from 07/02/2022 to 28/02/2022 and was hosted on Alchemer.
[i] Survey conducted by Opinion Matters, surveying 2,001 nationally representative UK adults, between 01.10.2021 – 05.10.2021.
The original paper by the Mencap Voices Council which sparked this work can be found here: https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-06/Easy%20read%20Mental%20Health%20Paper%20Final.pdf