Isle of Wight’s Mental Health Challenge being led by local Councillors

Mental health expert, Cllr Michael Lilley, said “we need real leadership within our community to lead our mental health services to the quality that residents deserve”.

michael lilley

Cllr Michael Lilley (Green – Ryde East) shares this latest news. Ed

Mental Health is a subject rarely out of the news and nearly every week, another statistic about failing services, information on increase in anti-depressant use, or new legislation on reducing high sectioning rates.

On the Island, mental health services are predominately managed and financed by the IW CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and delivered by IW NHS Trust with some through IW Council and a small amount by the voluntary sector.

The recent CQC (Clinical Quality Commission) Report in January concluded the NHS Community Mental Health provision was inadequate.

Improving mental health services
Since the May local elections, councillors from all the political parties and groups have been discussing how can there be improved leadership in championing mental health services on the Island.

There is a push for the Isle of Wight to sign up to the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge which enables local authorities to prioritise annual targets to improve mental well-being in their areas.

Being Mindful of Mental Health
Last week, Cllr Michael Lilley attended the launch of the Local Government Association’s latest report which focuses on mental health. It is titled “Being Mindful of Mental Health – The role of local government in mental health and well-being”.

Cllr Lilley was attending the LGA as part of the IW Council delegation.

“It was a great honour to be asked to be part of the IW delegation as a first time elected Councillor and I learnt a great deal. The big event for me was attending the launch of the report, which I have now circulated throughout the Council.

“The report comes at a crucial time for our beleaguered IW mental health services since the publication of the CQC Report in January 2017 and the CQC concluded services were inadequate.

“The report comprehensively provides a framework for Isle of Wight Council to see how every department and service directly and indirectly has a role in improving mental well-being on the Island.”

Improve the mental well-being of all our communities
Councillor Izzi Seccombe OBE, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Well-Being Board states in the Foreword:

“Mental health is finally getting the attention and profile nationally that it deserves.

“We want to work with the new Government to bring the unique position and expertise that councils have on mental health to bear on plans to improve the mental well-being of all our communities.”

Told ‘Good improvement so far’
Cllr Lilley recently raised a question at the recent meeting of the Health and Well-Being Board:

“I asked the Health and Well-Being Board to make mental health a priority within its new 2017-18 work plan and asked what progress had been made in improving mental health services since publication of the CQC report. I was told there had been good improvement so far, but have yet to be told what this is in real terms.

“We have to accept our services have a long way to go before they are adequate and we need real leadership within our community to lead our MH services to the quality that residents deserve.

“I am joining with councillors across all parties as elected representatives to start a 12 month mission to get our MH services from a failing position to one of excellence. The LGA report provides details of how other local authorities are achieving this and provides a useful starting point and guide. I want to be able next year to tell the LGA of the IW success story.”

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

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