My Plan for Watford by Dean Russell MP

Let's Make Watford A Wellbeing Town

In a partnership between Dean Russell MP, the Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce along with Wellspring Church and local community groups and champions, we are on a mission to train 1000 people in Mental Health First Aid Awareness.

This Watford project will provide Mental Health First Aid training to local businesses, residents, schools, charities and community groups.

Dean Russell MP said “I am delighted to be able to launch this project with the support of the prime minister, the Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce and so many brilliant local people. Transforming the mental health of our town is a personal priority of mine and even though Covid-19 slowed down this initiative, I am so pleased to be able to get it back up and running again.


Nigel Railton, CEO of Camelot: “It gives me great pleasure to support this Mental Health First Aider project and to confirm that Camelot will cover the training costs for six people to become instructors by donating £30,000 for the project.”

Chris Luff, CEO of Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce: “We believe mental wellbeing is the most critical and impactful issue that faces our workforce today. In both our personal and professional lives, we all have a responsibility to participate & contribute to the wellbeing of our community - regardless of what you do, who you are and where you come from.

I am pleased to work with our local MP and wider Watford community in training mental health first aiders.

In partnership with local communities including:

Camelot logo
Watford Chamber of Commerce logo
Wellspring Church logo

Ten Minute Rule Bill:
Workplace Mental Health First Aid

On 23rd March, Dean Russell MP presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill in an attempt to change the law to make it compulsory for mental health first-aid to be in every workplace.


The Bill was delivered in the House of Commons  in an attempt to make mental health provision in workplaces a legal requirement, and if there are no objections it will go straight through to second reading.


The Bill is designed to make mental health first-aid part of first-aid training requirements in workplaces as well as in wider society. If successful, employers and colleagues could play a part in spotting symptoms, signposting people to further help, or simply just listening.

International Men's Day -
Male Suicide Prevention

In the Backbench debate on International Men's Day, Dean Russell MP spoke about the impact and tragedy of suicide in the UK.

In the debate Dean spoke about how we lose far too many men every year to suicide.

As he stated in his speech, it is so important to check in on one another, to listen to each other and to be kind - including online.

It is never, ever a weakness to ask for help and it is okay not to be okay.


If you are struggling, please do speak to somebody. 

Mental Health Support For NHS Staff Including Pharmacists & Families

In his role on the Health & Social Care Select Committee, Dean raised the need to provide support for NHS staff and their families to Claire Murdoch, Head of Mental Health at the NHS and continued to raise this throughout the year.

Dean also raised the important role of pharmacists during the pandemic and the need for mental health support to include pharmacists. 

In October 2020, Dean was pleased to get the opportunity to raise this again when Claire Murdoch returned to the Health & Social Care Select Committee, where she confirmed the wide-ranging number of activities to support NHS staff and families. 

This included confirmation of investment of an extra £15 million to strengthen mental health support for nurses, paramedics, therapists, pharmacists, and support staff. This included enabling staff referred by themselves or colleagues will be rapidly assessed and treated by local expert mental health specialists. Those with the most severe needs will be referred to a specialist centre of excellence. 

Additional Mental Health Funding For Young People

As a Mental Health and Wellbeing advocate Dean welcome the announcement of more than £17 million to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges, part of Government’s commitment to build back better for every young person.

The new funding to train thousands of senior mental health leads, for school and college staff and to provide helpful resources

The funding builds on Government’s commitment to making mental health and wellbeing a central part of education recovery work.

Thousands of children and young people will benefit from better support and expert advice in school and college thanks to a new multi-million package of mental health support designed to help them recover from the challenges of the pandemic.

£17m in new mental health funding for young people. Training 7,800 mental health leads.

Latest Mental Health News

£79 Million Funding An