Today First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the Welsh Government’s priorities for the next five years which include increasing investment in mental health services and paying care workers a real living wage.
Responding to the announcement Adferiad Recovery Chief Executive Alun Thomas said: “Our members welcome the increased investment in mental health services – something we have long campaigned for – and the recognition of the vital service care workers provide.
“The additional funding needs to be targeted where it is needed most. For example, funding for mental health should not be diverted to support the responsibilities of public-facing general services to protect the mental wellbeing of their clients; it needs to be focused on those with the highest needs who can benefit from it the most. This, of course, makes economic sense: if you support someone with a serious mental illness towards recovery then it results in a greatly reduced cost of care.
“Furthermore, we hope that the Welsh Government recognises the need to provide comprehensive, holistic services for people with very complex and co-occurring needs: there is an urgent need to focus resources on this vulnerable and disadvantaged cohort of patients.
“Value for money should always be ensured through commissioning services based squarely on patients’ needs, as identified in their care plans.
“In our Senedd Election manifesto we said that no one should fall between different levels of support and they should always receive a positive referral to an appropriate source of help, so we are heartened to see a commitment in the Welsh Government’s programme to promote a no-wrong door approach to mental health support.
“We also welcome the roll out of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) ‘in-reach’ in schools across Wales, although in practice this should mean that CAMHS work closely with schools to ensure that while pupils looking for help all get a positive referral, only those with highest needs get support from CAMHS.
“As a patient and carer-led organisation we would welcome the opportunity to provide advice and guidance to the Welsh Government on implementing its priorities and involving patients and carers at every stage.”