Issue - meetings

Regional Mental Health Strategy

Meeting: 14/06/2018 - Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 14)

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That the North Wales Together for Mental Health Strategy be noted.


The Chair invited Lesley Singleton, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for Mental Health,to introduce the report.  Lesley Singleton presented the North Wales Mental Health Strategy ‘Together for Mental Health’ which was a 5 year plan for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to develop mental health services and work with partners, including the Council,  to improve services for the citizens of North Wales.  She emphasised that the Strategy had been developed focusing on a person’s outcome approach and said that on the past the traditional model to Mental Health had not been what people wanted or needed.   The emphasis was on keeping people in their own bed with services wrapped around and ensuring that communities align to supporting emotional wellbeing. 


The Chair thanked Lesley Singleton for presenting the Strategy and invited questions.


Councillor Kevin Hughes commented on the issue of medication and expressed concerns that medication prescribed to young people may cause them to become addicted in the future.  Lesley Singleton acknowledged the concerns and referred to the need to have an understanding of what outcomes people wanted and to tailor interventions around individual need.  Andrew Grafton, Assistant Director of Children’s Services, gave an assurance that any medication given was considered necessary and was regularly reviewed.  He said that one of the challenges was that people were looking for a “magic” intervention.  He reassured the Committee that the service was delivered by a group of highly trained medical professionals and reviewed appropriately.


Councillor Hilary McGuill asked if a person could refer into the system without going through a GP.  She commented that a GP did not necessarily understand the needs of the individual and that on occasions the housing teams also did not understand the individual’s needs.  Lesley Singleton referred to the Crisis Hub which had been established in Wrexham and said that BCUHB were in discussion with Flintshire County Council regarding establishing a similar service in Flintshire.  She referred to the PARABL talking therapies partnership that worked across North Wales and said it was possible to self-refer to that. 


In response to a question from Councillor David Healey, Lesley Singleton confirmed that BCUHB were looking to roll out the crisis hub initiative in Flintshire for one day a week.


The Chair commented on the stigma attached to mental health and mental health issues in the workplace.  Lesley Singleton added that the stigma of Mental Health in the workplace remained a problem but some positive examples were starting to develop.  She advised that the charity Awyr Las was promoting an ‘I can’ campaign around mental health to challenge the stigma of mental Health with the emphasis on giving people an opportunity to start a “difficult” conversation.  She said it was also about the opportunity to get employers to start to think about mental health first aid and support to help employees get back into the workplace.




That the North Wales Together for Mental Health Strategy be noted.