Work has focused on improving information and advice on mental health and encouraging positive wellbeing, challenging stigma around mental health and changing attitudes to people who experience mental ill health.
The key achievements for the past year are:
- Publishing an anxiety toolkit aimed at parents and carers, teachers and young people. The toolkit has been developed to help people understand their emotions, how to manage them and when to ask for help.
- Fully revising and updating South Gloucestershire’s website which now includes a directory of services and support available.
- A successful campaign of awareness raising including working with key institutions such as Schools, colleges, universities and workplaces to promote positive mental health and to challenge and reduce stigma.
- The completion and publication of an Adults Mental Health Needs Assessment which looks at the situation in South Gloucestershire, examines how we are performing and highlights areas where we can improve.
- The completion of the draft first mental health and emotional wellbeing strategy. The strategy is a partnership document between South Gloucestershire Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. The strategy is being finalised and will go out for public consultation soon.
- The provision of a range of mental health related courses for specialist health and social care staff, non-specialist staff and the general public with specific courses aimed at supporting parents and children.
- Work to redesign local talking therapy services including the new model being piloted and evaluated in partnership with the University of Chester.
- Extended the service user voice in partnership with Healthwatch, leading to the recruitment of new local mental health champions and a better understanding of what our local population want to improve their mental health.
- The continued work of the Mental Health Partnership to ensure that service users, carers and the voluntary sector are at the centre of local service developments.
- Commissioning Curo to employ “Community Connectors” to work across South Gloucestershire. Each community connector is linked to a GP cluster area. They will have knowledge about their local community and what activities people can be involved with. The community connectors will recruit volunteers to work with people in their local area.
- Inviting local groups and organisations to apply for the Everybody’s Business Grants. This year we focused on awarding funding to a small number of projects targeted at people who experience common mental health disorders such as mild depression, anxiety and panic attacks. We welcomed partnership bids that promoted joint working between organisations. Three partnerships were awarded funding to take forward the following projects:
- The establishment of a South Gloucestershire Wellbeing College
- The Resilience through Partnership programme
- Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Coordination.