Declaration paves way for innovative approach to Primary Care Mental Health in Wales

A unique initiative to develop a Wales-wide Gold Standard for Primary Care in mental health has taken a step closer with the publication of a Welsh Declaration for Mental Health and Well-being.

‘Defining a vision, inspiring action’ has been drafted by the Wales Mental Health in Primary Care Network (WaMH in PC) and it calls for a new framework for the commissioning and delivery of services.

The declaration states: “Wales must give formal recognition to the growing and widespread problems of mental ill health and its relationship to general ill health and deploy available resources to aid the recovery of body, mind and spirit.

“It is within the power of the Welsh Assembly Government, in partnership with health services, local government, the voluntary sector, business and educational institutions, to create conditions that will reduce the heavy burden of illness, sickness, stigma and premature death caused by mental ill health and to promote mental health and wellbeing.

“As members of society, the people of Wales must accept responsibility within their own communities, workplaces and families to address those relationship issues that impact on all aspects of our day-to-day lives.

“We call upon local and national government, health services, industry and business, the voluntary sector, schools and educational establishments and others in Wales, to join with this initiative and sign up now to this Declaration.”

WaMH in PC was established by the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2003 to enable those with an interest in primary care mental health to share ideas.

The network’s ‘think tank’ includes doctors, mental health nurses, and representatives of groups that include the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and Hafal, the principal Welsh charity for those with a severe mental illness and their carers.

The organisation’s Declaration paves the way for the development of a framework for Gold Standards of Care for Primary Care Mental Health in Wales, an initiative which is at the moment unique to Wales.

“The Gold Standards Framework is about achieving consistent standards of care and it is committed to leading the continuous improvement in health and wellbeing through prevention, support and treatment to ensure recovery and the maintenance of wellbeing,” a WaMH in PC spokesman said.

“We must work to gain the understanding, support and recognition of these Gold Standards by our communities and colleagues. The Standards will succeed only if the community adopts them. They will need to build on the policies of the Welsh Assembly Government and recognise the important initiatives that already exist in Wales.”

To find out more about the Declaration, click here