Hafal welcomes the development of a new all-age mental health strategy developed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) in partnership with patients, families and carers: Together for Mental Health in North Wales. The Health Board commits to:-
- Treating people who use mental health services, their carers and families as equal partners
- Ensuring everything it does is as integrated as possible – replacing fragmented care with more joined-up and continuous care
- Working to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected
- Supporting and promoting the best quality of life for everyone living with a mental health problem
- Promoting local innovation and local evaluation in how services are provided
- Continually measure whether the lives of people are improving for and with whom it provides services.
We welcome BCUHB’s determination to ensure that moving forward ‘things will be different’, and its promise to deliver a wide range of specific actions to improve the quality, availability and access to mental health services for all people across North Wales.
There are numerous specific actions committed to within the new strategy including:-
- Improving the availability of a range of psychological therapies
- Ensuring peer support and other services are available as a step-down option from statutory community care
- Ensuring easy and fast access is available for people experiencing a first episode of psychosis
- Delivering earlier intervention for people who have an Eating Disorder
- Providing suitable alternatives to hospital admission where this is safe and appropriate.
We fully support these and the many other actions set out in the strategy. We agree that it is not through the Health Board alone that the new strategy will be successfully implemented, but rather through adopting a stronger more collaborative approach within and across agencies and organisations that includes the third sector. Crucially, we believe that successful change and improvement must be driven by people who use mental health services, as well as by carers and families.
We look forward to Together for Mental Health in North Wales being successfully implemented and to seeing some early examples of improved services becoming available for people affected by mental illness.