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4.1 Mental health promotion

Mental health promotion has an emphasis on the positive aspects and determinants of mental health and how to help our local population live happy and resilient lives without the need to have ongoing support from mental health services.

Mental health promotion works to ensure key agendas such as employment, housing, planning and transport consider mental health when making decisions. It also works to link into other health agendas such as physical activity, substance misuse, smoking and sexual health.

In developing our adult strategy we had many comments on the importance of families and children’s mental health as a key determinant of adult outcomes. As such we acknowledge the vital link to our developing children’s mental health strategy. Our view is that the adult and children’s strategy and actions plans are very much linked documents.

Mental health promotion also looks to work to support individuals, families and our local community organisations to support positive mental health. There is increasing recognition that protective factors and personal resilience can help large numbers of people to thrive. We support the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which captures this approach, via services such as the Wellbeing College, social prescribing and supporting a vibrant voluntary and community sector.

This also includes providing information and skills but also funding to build community capacity. We strongly believe that our local community is our greatest resource and our role is to enable this human asset to find the right local solutions to improving mental health in South Gloucestershire. As such we advocate both an asset based approach looking at developing the positive attributes of both individuals but also the communities in which they live as a whole.

National targets linked to mental health promotion as outlined in The five year forward view for mental health include:

  • A national Prevention Concordat programme that will support all Health and Wellbeing Boards (along with CCGs) to put in place updated Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and joint prevention plans that include mental health and co-morbid alcohol and drug misuse, parenting programmes, and housing, by no later than 2017.
  • All local areas to have multi-agency suicide prevention plans in place by 2017, reviewed annually thereafter and supported by new investment. To reduce the incidence of suicide by 10% based on the 2016/17 baseline.
  • Proven behaviour change interventions, such as Time to Change, and to establish Mental Health Champions in each community and workplace to contribute towards improving attitudes to mental health by at least a further 5 per cent by 2020/21.

Our vision for mental health promotion

South Gloucestershire is a place where good mental health is important to everyone and where communities and individuals feel able to manage their own mental health.
Priorities for mental health promotion

  • Raise whole population awareness and challenge stigma.
  • Ensure user and carer voice is central to local developments and decisions.
  • Simplify information about local services.
  • Increase opportunities for individuals to self-manage their own mental health.
  • Ensure mental health is linked to other policy areas.
What is working well

  • An established awareness campaign that is engaging with larger numbers year on year.
  • A committed group of mental health champions who feedback on services and support decision making.
  • Improved local information about services in a simplified local offer.
  • Significant take up of self-management courses.
  • Linked service areas have shown a willingness to embed mental health promotion in their plans.
Measures of success for mental health promotion

  1. Improved levels of whole population wellbeing.
  2. Reduced levels of whole population social isolation.
  3. Majority of service users and carers report they feel valued and involved in local decisions.
  4. Majority of people report that they understand what local services are available.
  5. Increased numbers of people accessing programmes to help them self-manage their mental health and to promote mental wellbeing.