The mental health and emotional well-being of our population has faced considerable challenges over recent years. The evidence from this chapter highlights areas where the need for mental health services is increasing, including where the trajectory was increasing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and where the pandemic has escalated issues. There are some really important challenges facing our region such as suicide, mental health of young people and lack of suitable accommodation solutions.
We recognise that the number of cases of mental health conditions such as dementia are increasing, the effect of related factors like loneliness are getting more prominent, ongoing barriers such as mental health inequalities remain a problem and the workforce faces increasing pressures (including their own emotional well-being on the back of a high pressure period as a result of the global pandemic). These challenges require a collaborative, co-productive, regional approach to transforming services and changing attitudes to mental health (covering prevention, assessment, treatment and ongoing support for all people of West Glamorgan facing mental health challenges).
There will need to be a significant programme of change across the partnership as well as management of dependencies across other programmes to embed the importance of our vision for mental health in all of our transformational activities. While there are good examples of recent achievements such as the Sanctuary Service, we recognise that there are gaps within our understanding of population needs at local, regional and national levels so we must invest our time and effort to improving our understanding so we can correctly target our transformation programme.
The development of this chapter has identified the following needs to be addressed:
- This chapter offers the baseline starting positions. We will continue to refresh and update as part of an iterative process.
- The need for improved data to inform future PNA development
- Greater emphasis on prevention and wellbeing through improved data to measure outcomes and provide intelligence for future iterations of the PNA.
- Addressing mental health inequalities and taking a regional approach to the prevention of poor mental health.
- Continued implementation of national and regional priorities through partnership working, including co-producing care plans
- Young people and suicide – more preventative measures are required.
- Developing our regional strategic approach to mental health through the creation of strategies, frameworks and action plans to address the needs of our population.
- Mapping all services provided across the partnership to identify gaps, threats and opportunities, including regional commissioning.
- Delivering meaningful and effective co-production of mental health services in partnership with those receiving services, families and carers. A suite of resources has been produced to support services and organisations to co-produce. This piece of work was led by the West Glamorgan Co-production Group and comprises a framework, toolkit and charter.
Therefore, to address the issues highlighted by this Chapter, our commitment to transformation of emotional well-being and mental health must include:
- A strategic approach to emotional well-being and mental health driven by the needs of our population, including a person-centred approach to working with people;
- Embedding the right principles across our organisations and services including how we address common issues like language, stigma and discrimination;
- More engagement with and representation of service users, carers and other key stakeholders including co-production activities;
- Better quality data including real life experiences and case studies from across our population groups;
- Better use of resources, assets and skilled workers to deliver better outcomes more efficiently;
- Greater focus on prevention of poor mental health from many different perspectives (e.g. community-led initiatives);
- Transforming how mental health services are delivered through trialling new models of care and integration of service provision;
- Recognising the factors that impact on mental health (such as poverty, substance misuse, employment, etc.) which need to be addressed with our partners and stakeholders.