Trust CEO Jinjer Kandola’s explains why you’ll soon find it easier to get help with mental health challenges.
‘Today, we’re talking about the mental health care and support available in the community for adults – from young to old – who are not suited for IAPT talking therapy. They may not be eligible or they may have mental health needs that can’t be met by talking therapy alone.
It includes people diagnosed with severe forms of common disorders like anxiety and depression, serious conditions like bipolar, psychosis and schizophrenia and those yet to receive care for mental health problems. It also includes people with co-existing physical or psychological conditions including eating disorders and addiction.
If you recognise yourself, a loved one, a friend, a colleague or others in this description, I’m here today to tell you we’re making it easier to get the help you need, when you need it.
Over the next three years, we’ll receive millions to transform community mental health care. It means we can make the changes you’ve been asking us to make for years – shorter waiting times, easier access, more flexible and personalised care that meets all of your needs while doing more to prevent mental health problems in the first place.
We’re recruiting hundreds of new frontline workers and expanding services to treat more people more quickly. From April, every adult can expect to start receiving care within four weeks of referral. By 2024, we’ll be able to care for 10,000 more people.
You’ll get help to recover sooner and ongoing support to manage your own condition and stay well. You’ll have much greater control over your care. Services will be designed around needs – you’ll co-produce a flexible Personal Care and Support Plan to help you achieve your goals.
You’ll get help to look after your physical health – annual health checks, tests and follow-up care. Your social care needs will be considered from the outset – if you need help, we’ll link you up with social services. We’ll provide practical help to resolve problems that can impact mental health like finding accommodation, accessing benefits, getting into work or managing finances.
There’s lots of support out there if you know where to look. We’ll help you or your carer to connect with local services and support networks. You’ll know who to ask if you need more help in future. You’ll have a named key worker who’ll make sure you get the help you need.
We want everyone in our community to feel able to reach out to ask for help. We’ll work with our colleagues in public health to identify people who are getting the help they need. We’ll work with communities that haven’t always been able to get the help they need to develop new bespoke services. We’ll work with community leaders and others to ensure services are accessible and culturally appropriate. We’re working hard to recruit staff from diverse backgrounds so our workforce better represents the communities we serve.
We’ll invest in new population health programmes to improve mental wellbeing and build resilience. We know having a job or studying protects your mental health. We’ll help hundreds more to get into work each year and link others into training and education.
You’ll find it much easier to access services. You’ll find most if not all of services you need under one roof in your new neighbourhood team. Specialists will step in to provide care if you need more intensive support. We’ll continue to offer telephone and online options as well as in-person consultations.
Of course, we can’t do this alone. To deliver these changes, we’re partnering with colleagues in primary care, social care, public health, local government and the community sector. It means big changes to how we all work. But the benefits for you and your loved ones are huge.’
Jinjer was speaking at our Community Mental Health Summit on 10 November 2021.