As the Executive Director of a charity that puts islanders’ mental health front and centre, James Le Feuvre knows a thing or two about self-care.
Having been in the role for eight years at Mind Jersey, James keeps his own wellbeing in check by staying as active as possible.
Tying in with World Mental Health Awareness Day yesterday, Express asked James what changes he would make to the island, to improve everyone's wellbeing.
He shared his thoughts...
The recognition, not least by Government, of the importance in investing in our mental health, and the services provided, is most welcome. This is a major step forward and demonstrates how much perceptions have changed over the last few years.
But we still need to do more and recognise that mental health is about more than health services alone. All Government departments should have one eye on wellbeing when making decisions.
Pictured: "Mental health is about more than health services alone."
There’s little point in investing very significant sums in health and community services – to help people when they are unwell – if, at the same time, we are not working hard to make sure that everyone has a safe place to call home and that they are supported in their places of work or in school through the promotion and maintenance of good mental health and wellbeing. Prevention is better than cure.
Jersey is a beautiful place to live but we need to do more to protect our environment. It is precious and an invaluable asset that needs to be looked after more carefully if those that come after us are to be able to enjoy it.
Pictured: James says more needs to be done to protect Jersey's coastline and environment.
We need to pay more than lip service when it comes to protection and this is never more so than in relation to our coastline. I can’t be the only islander that is really disappointed at some of the overbearing and wholly inappropriate developments that have sprung up along the coast in recent years.
We need a much more ambitious and coordinated sustainable transport strategy. We often seem unable or unwilling to get out of our cars even though big improvements have been made in the bus service.
Pictured: James thinks there should be a more "ambitious and coordinated sustainable transport strategy."
A significant proportion of the population live relatively close to an imaginary line between Gorey to Les Quennevais. A safe and accessible cycle route between these two points would be good for our environment, our fitness and for the visitors we hope to continue to attract. Combine this with a self-hire scheme – like the Santander one in London – and we really could make a difference.
St. Helier is our main centre, both in terms of population and commercial activity. It is right that this should continue, but it must not be at the cost of those that live there. We should look again at how La Collette is utilised and whether we are getting the best return from a significant area of land close to the town.
Pictured: James says town should be rethought.
A new ports facility, with access to deeper water, could release considerable areas where the Elizabeth terminal is located. Once redeveloped together with other existing harbour facilities – flair and imagination definitely required – a whole new sector where people could live, work and relax would become available.
We should also work much harder to keep our existing town centre alive and vibrant. The trend, during the last 20 years or so, to allow or even encourage the development out of town shopping centres has almost certainly helped hollow out key areas of the town.
As an island we can sometimes feel isolated and this is why we really do need to work harder to secure regular and reliable external travel links. Whilst the U.K. is understandably our main port of call it would be good if the links to France, and Paris in particular, could be strengthened.
Pictured: "As an island we can sometimes feel isolated."
The reliability of our sea links to the mainland are often a topic of discussion – how about an overnight ferry service on a more conventional ship, in both directions?
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