Mental health support

New plans for mental health & suicide prevention launch in Wales

The Welsh Government has put out two new strategies for consultation today, in a move to broaden the country’s approach to supporting mental health and suicide prevention.

The draft strategies centre around changing the conversation on mental health, specifically empowering people to support themselves and help remove the stigma around getting help.

The strategies also focus on prevention and equitable access to drive down health inequalities.

"…people have told us not to medicalise mental health."

The Welsh Government says the strategies will look to build on the success of the 111 press 2 service and online cognitive behavioural therapy.

“We need to change how we talk about and support mental health issues, to better reflect the needs of individuals,” says Wales’ deputy minister for mental health and wellbeing, Lynne Neagle.

“We have listened to a range of views in developing the strategies and people have told us not to medicalise mental health. For most people, whilst they do need support, they don’t necessarily need clinical or specialised mental health services.”

A ‘no wrong door’ approach to mental health is hoping to be harnessed by the Welsh Government.

“There is a prevailing misconception that people who die by suicide have a mental health problem or illness.”

Wider influencing factors to mental health and suicide will also be considered, such as housing, employment and finances.

The strategies set out the work needed across government and healthcare sector to improve mental wellbeing as well as reduce suicide and self-harm.

“Whilst suicide and self-harm are complex, they are preventable and never inevitable,” adds Neagle.

“There is a prevailing misconception that people who die by suicide have a mental health problem or illness. This strategy will work to better understand the causes and who are the most vulnerable groups, so we can deliver rapid and impactful prevention, intervention, and support.”

The mental health and wellbeing strategy, as well as the suicide and self-harm strategy will be out to consultation until 11 June.

Image credit: iStock

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