Association of Mental Health Providers

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Encouraging Personalised Care and Support Planning in Mental Health Services

– Edward Strudwick, Operations Manager

As we approach the end of Mental Health Awareness week 2017 it is important to think about not only those who have a mental health condition but also those people and organisations who work hard, often without recognition, to support them.

With two out of every three adults saying that they have suffered from mental ill-health, the tens of thousands of people in provider organisations across the country are working tirelessly to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance to recover and live the life that they want to.

We acknowledge that there are a wide range of service providers supporting people with mental health needs, from large NHS and statutory providers, to voluntary and community sector (VCS) providers of all sizes, down to small local groups and volunteers.

It is also important to remember that VCS and statutory providers need each other. Neither can exist independently of the other and both have a vital role to play in the support of people with mental health conditions over the course of their lives. The differences we identify as people working within the sector are of no importance to people who use our services and their friends and families who are seeking treatment for themselves or their loved ones. It is down to us all to make sure that we are working together to make the journey as seamless as possible.

Great strides have been made over the last few years towards this goal with initiatives to place staff from each sector within other services. This can be seen happening across care from GPs to housing support, employment support and the criminal justice system. But we need to do more. There is still too little understanding between the sectors about opportunities for collaboration.

Association of Mental Health Providers is here to help. As the only representative body for VCS providers of mental health services, we are well placed to encourage better conversations, that result in improved integrated personalised care and support planning. This will help to provide more effective joined-up care, tailored to a person’s needs. By working with members to ensure coordinated planning and provision, the Association champions services which will provide effective whole-person care.

There are an increasing number of people with health problems that require access to multiple health and social care services. The knowledge and experience that the voluntary mental health services have, plays an important role in bridging the gaps to achieve effective personalised care and support planning, alongside statutory services. The Association is focused on taking forward evidence of effective service provision in this area.

This blog piece was originally written for Coalition for Collaborative Care.