Together for Mental Health Annual Report 2013-14 Debated in Plenary

The Welsh Government’s 2013- 14 Annual Report on its Together for Mental Health strategy was debatedin plenary yesterday (watchhere).

Opening the debate,Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM (pictured) said: “Mental healthservices have made real progress throughout 2014. By further embedding the MentalHealth Measure we are continuing to make tangible improvements to care whilstensuring service users’ voices are heard.”

There was alsorecognition for the service user and carer-led “Let’sGet Physical!” campaign which Mr Gething said “has delivered some15,000 health checks across Wales and is a good example of how people can bepositively empowered to take responsibility for remaining fit and well.”

During the debatethere were calls for “urgent action” to improve access to Child andAdult Mental Health Services from Conservative Health Spokesperson DarrenMillar; Labour AM Christine Chapman said that was a “considerable way togo” to improve mental health services for children, although she was”heartened” by what the Deputy Minister had reported; and LiberalDemocrat Leader Kirsty Williams raised concerns about children being treated”out of country”. Plaid Cymru spokesperson Elin Jones tabledan amendment noting  the ‘regretfulimpact’ of welfare reforms on those with mental health problems.

Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal AlunThomas said: “It was encouraging to get positive feedback on Hafal’s work during the debate, and especially pleasing toreceive such recognition for the user and carer-led “Let’s GetPhysical!” campaign which we delivered.

“Our Members welcome the Welsh Government’s secondAnnual Report on the implementation of the Together for Mental HealthStrategy. Most people who use secondarymental health services now have a Care and Treatment Plan and some people feelmore involved in the planning and delivery of their own care and treatment, althoughthis is still not widespread or systematic across the whole of Wales.

“The quality and usefulness of Care and Treatment Plansis, however, variable across Wales, with many people having plans that are notfully focused on recovery or centred around people achieving both short-termand long-term goals.

“We look forward to supporting the work of theGovernment in the next year to achieve the Together for Mental Healthobjectives.”

To read Hafal’s briefing on the Annual Report goto: