Mixed sport
Government and politics, Health and wellbeing, Mental health

BPS welcomes revised Welsh mental health strategy

The BPS has welcomed the ‘overarching vision’ of the revised Welsh mental health and wellbeing strategy, Together for mental health.

21 February 2024

By BPS Communications

The society is pleased that the strategy, launched for consultation yesterday, focuses on health inequalities and seeks to ensure person-centred care with all aspects of people’s lives considered, such as where they live, their employment situation and their finances.

This approach is reinforced through joined up working in government and the proposed establishment of a cross-government ministerial board, which the BPS supports.

The strategy was launched with a draft suicide and self-harm strategy by the deputy mental health and wellbeing minister, Lynne Neagle.

Sharon Davis, chair of BPS Welsh Branch, said:

“We welcome the overarching visions of both the draft mental health and suicide strategies, and the expectations and goals that they want to achieve.

We fully endorse that the person must be at the centre of their care, surrounded by a support network that enables care, advice, rehabilitation or recovery when needed.

A collaborative and capable workforce is needed to ensure that we can deliver patient-centred care, so we also welcome the emphasis on ensuring that the workforce has the ‘capacity and confidence to meet patient needs.

But the detail in how this is actually delivered is key. We still have many people waiting for psychological assessments, a large number of whom won’t meet the thresholds for support, so fall between the cracks.”

She added:

“The deputy minister recognised that mental health demands will continue to increase and the NHS is likely to become overwhelmed.

We would argue that we are already on the brink of a crisis, which is a difficult starting point to launch a successful strategy.

We look forward to responding to the consultation and would be keen to be involved in the drafting of the delivery plans.”

In a speech to the Welsh Senedd (parliament) yesterday, the deputy minister emphasised the need to change the way we think about mental health, to enable people to live in communities with support, to empower people to improve their mental health, and to remove the barriers and stigma around getting help.

She indicted that everyone should have access to the best mental health, and that systems and services should be connected and cover both health and social services. Specialised secondary mental health services will also be strengthened in the strategy.

The Welsh government said with half of mental health conditions impacting people by the age of 14, and 75 per cent by the age of 23, there is a strong focus in the strategy on prevention through ensuring everyone has equal access to the things they need to maintain good mental health, like exercise, the natural environment and belonging to the community.

The draft strategies are open for consultation until 11 June. BPS will be consulting with its members to draft a response.

If you would like to contribute your views, please email Manel Tippett, senior public affairs adviser, Wales ( [email protected]), or contact her to see how you can contribute in other ways.