The Minister has today launched the formal consultation on the phase two delivery plan for Together for Mental Health. It sets out the key actions which will be implemented by the Welsh Government, the Welsh NHS, social services and partner agencies in the statutory and third sectors over the next three years.
One of the key priorities is to improve the quality of life and care for people with, or at risk of, dementia and their carers. The Welsh Government will produce a dementia strategic plan by December 2016.
The plan also focuses on ensuring children and young people experiencing neuro-developmental conditions, such as autistic spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are able to access timely assessment and treatment which supports their continued social and personal development.
Other priority areas include:
- ensuring mental wellbeing is given equal priority with physical wellbeing in the development and delivery of services
- providing better outcomes for women, their babies and families with, or at risk of, perinatal mental health problems. Health boards will ensure there is an accessible community perinatal service in each part of Wales by November 2016
- ensuring people of all ages experiencing eating disorders are able to access appropriate and timely services; health boards will deliver eating disorder treatment services as close to home as possible, in either inpatient or community settings
- improving the quality of life, health and wellbeing of older people in Wales by reducing loneliness and unwanted isolation; the Welsh Government will work with the Ageing Well in Wales network to take forward a programme of work that aims to reduce loneliness and isolation among older people by March 2019
- a concerted effort to continue to sustainably reduce the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.
In Wales, more than £600m a year is invested in mental health services, more than any other service in the NHS.
The additional £16m-a-year which is being invested in mental health services, which was announced last year, together with the extra investment for mental health services announced as part of the Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2016-17, will ensure resources are available to deliver these priorities.
The £16m is already helping to develop more effective perinatal services, improving access to psychological therapies and child and adolescent mental health services and providing support to people diagnosed with dementia.
Professor Drakeford said:
“Mental health is one of our main priorities and, as a government, we are investing record-levels – more than £600m this year – in our mental health services.
“One in four adults experience mental health problems or illness at some point during their lifetime, while one in six of us will be experiencing symptoms at any one time. One in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 has a mental health problem and many more have behavioural issues.
“Our new three-year delivery plan for Wales’ mental health strategy sets out the key priorities we want to address over the next few years.
“We want to ensure people of all ages experience sustained improvement to their mental health and wellbeing. But if and when mental ill health does occur, we want to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect and they have access to appropriate, evidence-based and timely services that meet their needs and that those services are delivered as close to their homes as possible.”
The delivery plan is subject to a period of consultation, which closes on April 4, 2016.