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Written Statement - Final Report into the Delivery of Services for the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

In 2010,  we published ‘Breaking the Barriers: Meeting the Challenges’, an action plan setting out how we will work with partners to achieve the strategic goals in Everybody’s Business, our 2001 strategy for supporting children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health needs.  The Action Plan included a commitment to prepare an annual report outlining progress towards implementing the Action Plan.  

In October 2012, we published Together for Mental Health, which replaced Everybody’s Business, Breaking the Barriers and the associated Adult Mental Health Strategy, Adult Mental Health Services for Wales: Equity, Empowerment, Effectiveness, Efficiency.  It is the first new Mental Health Strategy for ten years and for the first time brings children, young people, adults and older people together to take a ‘whole life’ approach to meet emotional and mental health needs.  However, before Everybody’s Business and Breaking the Barriers are consigned to history, it is only right the Welsh Government reports one last time on the progress and the challenges faced in progressing this agenda. The Delivery Assurance Group, the multi-agency group tasked with overseeing the delivery of the Action Plan, met for the final time in February 2013, to conclude its work programme and agree its final report, which I am pleased to accept.  I have decided to make it widely available by publishing it on the mental health pages of the Welsh Government website. 

The report provides an overview of developments which have taken place throughout 2012-13.  It portrays improving services and the development of many positive actions, in particular, the close working relationships enjoyed by partners across a range of sectors, all of which are working to improve services for children and young people.  It is a frank report and details those areas where less progress has been made, such as in relation to transition between children’s and adult services, and where we need to redouble efforts as part of Together for Mental Health.  In this respect Together for Mental Health sees a continued role for the Delivery Assurance Group, building on its Breaking the Barriers work to take forward activity as part of Together for Mental Health.  A reconvened group will meet in the summer.

I commend the report to Assembly Members and would encourage you to note the effect our work has had on improving the services for many of our young people.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed.  Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.