TRAVELLER MOVEMENT ANNUAL CONFERENCE: THE INTERSECTION OF POVERTY, INEQUALITY, AND MENTAL HEALTH
The Traveller Movement annual conference will be held on Thursday 17th November 2022, 10-4pm at Lambeth Town Halll, Brixton. For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we are delighted to be returning to an in-person conference.
The themes for this year’s conference are particularly relevant in light of the spiralling cost-of-living crisis. Jack Monroe’s work with the Office of National Statistics has shown that the inflation rate for some essential food staples is as high as 50%, energy prices are predicted to top £6,000 per year, and workers are enduring a record real-terms pay cut.
Yvonne MacNamara (CEO of the Traveller Movement) says: “We know people have missed the togetherness and solidarity of our physical conference through the pandemic, and we are really looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in person this year. But we also know that this conference will take place in extremely worrying times. The cost-of-living crisis will have a catastrophic impact on Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities without the right kind of government action and support. The 2022 conference will be an opportunity to challenge policymakers, and also hear from Traveller Movement and other organisations in the public, private, and voluntary sectors about what they are doing in response to the spiralling cost of living.”
The crisis will have a devastating impact for tens of millions of people in the UK who have endured a lost decade of wage stagnation and reduced access to benefits and other public services due to the political choice of austerity. But the inescapable reality is some groups will be more affected than others. Moving into this crisis, people from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller backgrounds still have lower rates of educational attainment and higher levels of unemployment than for the non-GRT population.
Economic struggles are simultaneously affecting, and are affected by, an unfolding mental health emergency. Waiting times for Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) now routinely exceed a year, and thousands of children and young people have attempted suicide whilst still waiting for treatment. The continued failure of the NHS and the Coroner’s office to fully include ethnicities in their data frameworks means there is no reliable data for people from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller backgrounds. However, community reports of deaths by suicide – particularly amongst children and young people – are increasing at an alarming rate.
To address these profound challenges, The 2022 Traveller Movement conference will bring together Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community members, campaigners, policymakers, and other stakeholders to consider the relationship between poverty, inequality, and mental health within GRT communities specifically.
.Tickets are on sale tomorrow, September 1st and the conference brochure is available here.
TT News/Traveller Movement Press Release