CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has pledged to help tackle the stigma over mental health as the Welsh Labour Government launched a ground-breaking new initiative on Monday.
The new cross-departmental strategy – “Together for Mental Health” – gives a commitment to support patients “from cradle to the grave.”
Welsh Government figures currently show:
• One in four adults will have mental health problems or illness at some stage of their lives.
• One in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 has a mental health problem.
• One in six people over 80 years old will have memory problems, such as dementia.
The Strategy is focused around 6 high level outcomes and is supported by a Delivery Plan.
CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES who also Chairs the Assembly’s All Party Group on Mental Health said:
“Mental illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety, affect thousands of people across Wales yet there is still a taboo about addressing it. Many people still feel alone and dejected about mental health issues but the truth is there are many places to turn to.
“It’s imperative that patients get the right treatment to make sure they can not only manage their illness but hopefully recover fully and this new strategy will aid that.
“Together for Mental Health is aimed at giving a continuous and seamless care ‘from cradle to the grave’ and that’s exactly what is needed to help vulnerable people regardless of their age or social background.”
Welsh Labour’s Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said:
“One in four people will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. This can be triggered by bereavement, a trauma or even constantly worrying about money. In these days of financial austerity, we need to have more resilience to deal with the everyday pressures we face.
“Together for Mental Health is our commitment to do all we can to ensure we help people in Wales enjoy good mental health and wellbeing and those with mental ill-health are given all the support possible to recover and lead fulfilling lives.”
As of August 2012, a total of 9065 people have attended Mental Health First Aid training to identify and assist people displaying signs of mental health problems: 7820 have attended the main course, with a further 1245 attending the youth course – launched in 2010 – with is specifically tailored to consider the needs of children and young people.
Over 3,000 people, including police staff, have received Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) – practical training for care-givers seeking to prevent the immediate risk of suicide