Mental Health update from Jonathan O’Brien, Programme Director
The importance of mental health and well-being is being recognised through the NHS Long Term Plan and we are working with our health and social care colleagues to meet the ambitious standards set for us to achieve by 2023/24.
These ambitions include:
- Continuing to expand access to mental health services for children and young people
- Improving our response to people of all ages when they are in crisis or emotional distress
- Reducing waiting times to specialist services for children with learning disabilities and autism
- Better access to psychological therapies for people with depression, anxiety and phobias based in the community alongside our GP and community service colleagues
- Continuing to reduce suicide rates building on our success to date.
The first wave of our successful trailblazer service was launched in April following the extra national funding received to develop school and college-based mental health support in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We have submitted a second proposal for September 2019, which would offer the same service for children and young people in the south of the county and spread this great initiative.
We mentioned in out last update that we are hoping to start some new ways of working which will increase efficiency and improve people’s experiences of care and support. Further progress has been made and we hope they will be in place by the end of the summer. They are:
- Support for people who are frequent attenders to accident and emergency departments
- Getting people into specialist treatment for their alcohol problems will mean that there is a greater chance of success in reducing their need for alcohol in the future.
- The third service we are keen to introduce is to support people with learning disabilities to live as independent a life as possible, living in their usual communities and ensuring the support they receive is of the right quality.
I am sure you will have seen the listening events that are planned across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as part of the 12-week Public Conversation and I can confirm mental health will be there and keen to hear your thoughts and views on what we need to do to improve our specialist and local community services. I just want to assure you that we are listening and hope we can ensure we have high quality and consistent services for all of our communities in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.