Vaughan Gething has today launched the Welsh Government's new delivery plan to improve mental health and well-being in Wales.
Together for Mental Heath is a ten year, cross government strategy designed to improve the mental well-being of all residents in Wales. It covers all ages and contains a range of actions to support people with severe and enduring mental illness.
The strategy sets out ten priority areas for service improvement and is implemented through three year delivery plans for government and stakeholders. The first delivery plan covered the period 2012-15; today's strategy covers 2016-19.
Following recent consultation, the delivery plan contains a number of new ambitious objectives including:
- Improved support for young people, particularly those at risk of adverse childhood experiences.
- A new strategic action plan for dementia.
- Action to address suicide and self-harm.
- A range of actions to ensure services are provided in a safe, timely and effective way ensuring the dignity and respect of the person using the service.
- Goals to ensure groups at a higher risk of mental health issues receive the care they need. Pregnancy and early parenthood are challenging times and the plan offers additional support to families.
- Targets to help people with an eating disorder, people who have left the armed forces and people in the criminal justice system get the services they need at the right time.
"Together for Mental Health is at the very heart of everything we're doing to improve mental health services here in Wales.
"We have continued to spend more on mental health services than on any other part of the Welsh NHS and we've seen funding increased to £600m in 2015-16. In the past year alone we have announced £22m of new funding linked to our priority areas for delivery over the next three years - the period this delivery plan covers.
"It's important that we continue to increase knowledge and understanding about mental health problems and that we get more people to start talking about mental health. The stigma often around mental health continues to be a major challenge. Ending mental health discrimination is a commitment in our new Programme for Government and the new delivery plan places even greater emphasis on tackling stigma and discrimination - this is particularly pertinent on World Mental Health Day.
"Today's delivery plan sets out our priorities for the next three years. Mental health issues will affect all of us at some time or another – whether we experience issues ourselves, or they affect a family member or someone we see in work every day.
“We want to ensure that all people of all ages that need to access high quality, mental health services can do so and that they are treated with dignity and respect."