Together for Mental Health combines existing policy, consolidates progress to date and places the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 at the heart of the strategy. The 10 year strategy is supported by an initial 3 year delivery plan.
The strategy seeks to improve both the outcomes for users of mental health services, their carers and their families, and the wellbeing and resilience of the wider population. It shows how the Welsh Government intends to place the service user at the centre of service delivery and has a focus on recovery and enablement ensuring people’s potential is maximised. It also sets out how we will improve attitudes towards mental health, reducing stigma and discrimination.
The strategy is the first mental health and wellbeing strategy covering people of all ages and it aims for a seamless transition between youth and adult services. It also looks to help tackle needs such as housing, debt, financial and social issues, all of which can impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Together for Mental Health will be delivered in partnership with Health Boards, local authorities, the voluntary sector, service users, their carers and families.
As part of the strategy, the highly successful Mental Health First Aid programme will continue helping people to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with mental health problems.
Targeted at raising mental health awareness, some key groups who have taken part in this programme include the Ambulance Service, Welsh Police Forces and Prison Service, JobcentrePlus, Primary Health Care and Social Care, staff in Further and Higher Education, Support Workers in a variety of settings and voluntary and community groups.
The strategy is underpinned by age-inclusive outcomes, informed by service user and carer views expressed during the summer consultation. Welsh language and Human Rights are prominent in the strategy with specific outcomes identified for both.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths said:
“One in four people will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. This can be triggered by bereavement, a trauma or even constantly worrying about money. In these days of financial austerity, we need to have more resilience to deal with the everyday pressures we face.
“Together for Mental Health is our commitment to do all we can to ensure we help people in Wales enjoy good mental health and wellbeing and those with mental ill-health are given all the support possible to recover and lead fulfilling lives”
“The challenge facing us is to build on momentum and achieve the ambitions we have set ourselves in both the Programme for Government and Together for Health. Together for Mental Health sets out in clear and accessible terms a vision of mental health services fit for the 21st century.”