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Improving our local population’s mental health is a key priority in South Gloucestershire. Like physical health everyone has mental health and good mental health is vital if people are to lead fulfilled and productive lives.

Mental health and wellbeing are affected by the communities in which people live, their work and educational opportunities, their family and social life and personal experiences. Most people are able to manage life experiences and overcome the challenges that are part of all of our lives but we know that for some people this is not the case. We are committed to addressing the underlying causes of distress but also to maintaining high quality and accessible local services to support residents when they need it. Adults experiencing mental ill health should be able to access local, effective and safe mental and physical health services regardless of who they are and where they live.

We should not forget that South Gloucestershire has strong, vibrant communities with the skills and capacity to support their own mental health and this should be both nurtured and celebrated.

We have completed the first South Gloucestershire adult mental health needs assessment and Children and young people’s mental health needs assessment. These documents contain comprehensive local data along with stakeholder perspectives on mental health and mental health services in South Gloucestershire.

This five year South Gloucestershire Adults Mental Health Strategy outlines the local vision for mental health and our approach to delivering improvement, which will inform our action plan.

The commitment of everyone involved in the needs assessments, this strategy and the action plan has produced a joint local approach to improving mental health which is owned by all partners. We know there is lots to do but we now have a much better idea of our key priorities and where the resources and responsibilities to deliver against them sit.

This strategy is deliberately short because it outlines our values and approach to improving mental health and emotional wellbeing. The strategy is focused on adult (16+) mental health but it closely links to our work to support the improved mental health of children and young people.

The action plan details the things we are going to do. Our plans and targets are ambitious but we know we can deliver improvements and make a real change in people’s lives. The action plan will be reviewed regularly at public meetings and have clear targets, timescales and named individuals linked to each action.

We are confident this comprehensive approach will deliver measurable improvements in our population’s mental health over the next five years.