Working together to transform mental health services in York

Representatives from a range of local organisations, as well as local people, are coming together in York on 20 January to look at how they can work together as a local community to support people with mental health problems.

Representatives from a range of local organisations, as well as local people, are coming together in York on 20 January to look at how they can work together as a local community to support people with mental health problems.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust, who provide mental health services across York and Selby have organised the symposium following a successful event in April last year, which highlighted a pioneering approach to improve the mental wellbeing of people in Trieste, Italy.

Trieste has attracted worldwide attention for its community-based, recovery focussed, mental health system which values rather than stigmatises mental health. Recognised by the World Health Organisation as a centre for mental health research and training, Trieste provides a whole system approach offering care within the community and supporting people with all aspects of their lives including personal, practical and social needs.

The Trieste system is successful in giving people the tools and support they need to aid their recovery and meet their life aspirations and goals. The requirement for in-patient mental health care in Trieste is exceptionally low, with almost all care provided via drop-in community-based mental health care centres. Employment rates for those living with ill-mental health are high and few people with mental illness are caught up in the criminal justice system.

Delegates at the forthcoming symposium will hear from Dr Roberto Mezzina, the director of mental health in Trieste, to learn more about the way mental health care has changed there and to consider how this might be applied in York and across the region.

Commenting on the event Steve Wright, TEWV deputy medical director, said: “The NHS Five Year Forward View places a strong emphasis on the importance of providing care and support to people in a community setting. Our relationship with the Trieste Mental Health Service has already allowed us to see the possibilities that can be achieved when the community and organisations work together.

“We are privileged to have a number of leaders from key organisations across York and Selby, such as Vale of York CCG and the City of York Council, attending this year’s event and we hope it will provide us with the opportunity for valuable discussion and allow us to develop a shared vision and strategy for future mental health developments in the local area.

“Following the April 2016 event a number of groups have been established to look at the potential for collaborations and mental health developments in York and Selby and from these we are aiming to develop a mental health network and other potential partnerships and community-based services.”

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, added “The symposium on the future of mental health services to York could not be more timely with the need to deliver comprehensive health services for all who face mental health challenges. In taking a preventative and early intervention approach, we have an opportunity to really address the complete wellbeing for people across York, a strategy that must also look at the wider social determinants as to why people experience poor mental health in the first place.”

The recent development of the York Crisis Care Café is an excellent example of how a community approach can work in supporting mental health recovery. Service users and organisations have worked together to develop the cafe, which provides out of hour’s, early intervention for adults in mental health distress. The aim of the project is to encourage a safe haven for people to go in order to prevent an escalation into a mental health crisis. The café promotes a positive attitude towards recovery and offers a comfortable, non-clinical environment, which encourages self-management, ownership of care and shared decision making. It is hoped that this is the first of many steps forward in developing community focussed mental health care across York and Selby.

 

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