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The Mental Health (Wales) Measure
Transcript of The Mental Health (Wales) Measure
- Part 1
Aim of this session
To increase knowledge and understanding of Part One of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure amongst non-mental health organisations in Wales...
…and therefore improve awareness and access to timely and appropriate mental health support services at a primary care level.
What is the Mental Health (Wales) Measure?
What is Part 1 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure?
Why is Part 1 of the Measure important?
What does the implementation of Part 1 mean in reality?
Thank you for listening
The Mental Health (Wales) Measure is a piece of legislation made by the National Assembly for Wales, which makes changes and improvements to the assessment and treatment of people with mental health problems.
The Mental Health (Wales) Measure has four main parts...
Local Primary Care Mental Health Support Services
Care Coordination and Care and Treatment Planning
Assessment of people who have used specialist mental health services before
Independent Mental Health Advocacy
The Measure received Royal Assent in December 2010 and is being implemented in different stages throughout 2012.
Part 1 of the Measure aims to:
improve access to mental health services within primary care settings
to improve the outcomes for individuals accessing these services and
facilitate appropriate and timely referrals to secondary mental health services.
It requires that health boards and local authorities agree joint written schemes for each health board region in Wales. These schemes will set out what services are to be provided, how they are to be provided, by whom, and where, to meet the legal requirements of Part 1 of the Measure.
Part 1 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure is being implemented on the 1st October 2012.
What are Primary Care mental health services?
The term ‘primary care’ refers to services provided by GP practices, dental practices, community pharmacies and high street optometrists. About 90% of people’s contact with the NHS is with these services
In the context of Part 1 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure, we are primarily talking about GP surgeries.
Primary care mental health services are mainly designed to address mild to moderate mental health problems including:
mild to moderate depression;
psychosocial, behavioural and emotional difficulties experienced by children and young people which are typically managed by tier 1 & 2 CAMHS; and,
memory impairment experienced by older adults.
However, local primary mental health support services can also provide advice and support to primary care practitioners in managing stable enduring conditions such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dementia and eating disorders.
Getting the right support when people first become unwell is critical to being able to maintain a full and active life and to speed up recovery.
Unfortunately, people’s experiences of speaking to their GP about their mental health problems are extremely variable, and in some cases very poor.
“From when I first went to the GP at 17 it took until I was 22 to find a GP that really listened about my depression. I started to get on the right medication but then it still took another 8 years before I got all the resources I needed… it’s frustrating it took that long because there’s so many things I could have been doing…it feels like I’ve missed out on so many things that I could have done...”
“My GP’s been really good, but some GPs find it hard to talk about mental illness… [they] think “oh, it’s just the blues, pull your socks up.”
“(The doctor) took me through a checklist and within 5 minutes she’s like “oh, right, you’ve got severe depression”. There was no suggestion of where I should go next, what I should do after that day. I think when you go and take that large step of opening up to someone for the first time, you need someone to turn to…someone you can have a more in-depth chat with, and I didn’t get that at all. I left that day feeling worse than when I went in.”
“They didn’t bother to refer me to anyone because there is no resources available to my doctor, who said I would have to wait years to see anyone. You wouldn’t want that to happen to someone with a broken leg, refuse to treat him for 2 years.”
What does the Measure require local authorities and health boards to provide?
Comprehensive mental health assessments
for individuals who have first been seen by a GP, and for whom the GP considers a more detailed assessment is required, or who are referred through secondary mental health services (where the local joint scheme provides that individuals in receipt of secondary mental health services are eligible);
(i.e. treatment), either individually or through group work, if the initial assessment has identified this as appropriate. Such interventions may include counselling, a range of psychological interventions including cognitive behavioural therapy, solution-focussed therapy, family work, online support, stress management, bibliotherapy and education;
Onward referral and the co-ordination of next steps
with secondary mental health services, where this is felt to be appropriate for an individual;
Provision of support and advice to GPs and other primary care providers
(such as practice nurses) to enable them to safely manage and care for people with mental health problems;
Provision of information and advice to individuals and their carers
about interventions and care, including the options available to them, as well as ‘signposting’ to other sources of support (such as support provided by third sector organisations), and helping them to access these services.
The Measure should make sure that more services are available for your GP to refer you to if you have mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.
These services - which may include counselling, or stress and anxiety management - will be available at your GP practice or somewhere else nearby, so it should be easier to access them.
You should also be told about other services which might help you, such as those provided by local voluntary groups or advice about money or housing.
The Measure won’t necessarily change everything overnight, but it should improve primary care services across Wales.
And it is important that individuals - as well as their friends, families and support workers - are aware of what they should expect from primary care services from October 6th 2012.