In 2010 the Welsh Assembly passed a new piece of legislation called the Mental Health (Wales) Measure, which aims to ensure that people with mental health problems are appropriately cared for. The Act stipulates that assessment and treatment of mental health issues are a legal duty of Local Health Boards and Local Authorities and seeks to broaden access to independent mental health advocates.
On Monday, the new mental health strategy for Wales was published. Together for Mental Health sets out the 10-year strategy and is supported by a 3-year delivery plan, which will be overseen by a new national Mental Health Partnership Board.
The strategy has 5 main themes:
- Promoting mental wellbeing and, where possible, preventing mental health problems developing
- Establishing a new partnership with the public, centred on:
- Improving information on mental health
- Increasing service user and carer involvement in decisions around their care
- Changing attitudes to mental health by tackling stigma and discrimination
- Delivering a well designed, fully integrated network of care. This will be based on the recovery and enablement of service users in order to live as fulfilled and independent a life as possible
- Addressing the range of factors in people’s lives which can affect mental health and wellbeing through Care and Treatment Planning and joint-working across sectors
- Identifying how we will implement the Strategy
The delivery plan explains how each of these actions will be planned, commissioned and evaluated.
This is a broad strategy with big aims. It covers people from all age groups and focuses particularly on the transition between youth and adult services, which is a known problem area.
It also looks to tackle some of the fundamental social issues that can have an impact of mental wellbeing, such as housing and debt.
Raising awareness of mental health issues and challenging stigma are key objectives and the strategy looks to bring together a wide range of groups to work more closely together to achieve this. This includes 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.
Together for Mental Health. Delivery Plan: 2012-16 (PDF). Welsh Government, 22 Oct 2012.
Together for Mental Health – A Cross-Government Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Wales (consultation documents).
Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 (the legislation).
Mental Health (Wales) Measure training resource: Excellence in care and treatment planning.