Wishing you all the peace and joy of the season!
As we approach the Christmas holidays and the end of the year, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and hard work this year!
2018 has been an exciting (and busy!) year for us – we have been delighted to welcome lots of new members to our organisation and new Trustees to our Board, and to have built new partnerships and alliances in the mental health and wider health and social care sector.
As the leading membership organisation for VCSE mental health service providers, it is important for us to represent our members, and reflect your views, in all our work. As such, we have held regional members’ meetings to hear your thoughts and views, and learn about your concerns and priorities. We have hosted roundtable events to work with our members on issues such as delayed transfers of care, CCG-Commissioned VCSE services, workforce, and sector sustainability. We have led focus groups and workshops on mental health and race, prisons, employment, and young people. Through all these engagement events, we have been working hard to ensure the voices of our members are heard and that we are able to inform policy effectively.
Over the last year, The Association has been in a position to influence policy in several areas including the APPG on Mental Health’s inquiry into the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, where we submitted a consultation response and our Chief Executive, Kathy Roberts, provided oral evidence; the Mental Health Act Review for which Kathy chaired the Advocacy topic group (and our Trustee Steve Gilbert acted as Vice-Chair for the whole Review!); and the Women’s Mental Health Taskforce, which we were members of and for which we led on engagement with the VCSE and women with lived experience. We also submitted a response to, and engaged in, several workshops for the NHS Long Term Plan, which is due to be published imminently and we hope recognises the important role of the VCSE sector…
Finally, we have been delighted to launch our sector sustainability campaign and the creation of a VCSE Council. As part of this work, we have commissioned Centre for Mental Health to produce a focused document on sustainable planning and commissioning within the sector. The campaign will also lead to the publication of several other pieces of research covering key strands that are important to this work over the next year. The VCSE Council will comprise of sector leaders who will work with us to ensure that the role and impact of the sector can be understood, and its importance can be articulated moving forward.
As always, we have been sharing all the news, the latest policy guidance, our consultations, and events (Save the dates for the next meetings!) on our website and social media (do follow us!). You can also see all our bulletins on the website, so have a read and invite your colleagues to subscribe so they can keep updated too!
We look forward to working with each one of you in the New Year, and hope our relationship continues to thrive. So, as we look towards 2019, our hope is for a peaceful and productive year where mental health continues to be a priority for everyone, and a year in which we can all provide the support and deliver the services that people with mental health conditions need and deserve.
Wishing you and your families a happy and restful holiday!
Best wishes from All at The Association 🙂
– ps. our office will be closed from Monday 24 December until Wednesday 2 January so we’ll respond to any emails on our return!