FROM today, residents in South Gloucestershire can have their say on a new strategy that aims to tackle mental health problems. 

The draft Adult Mental Health Strategy outlines plans to improve the mental health of adults living and working in the county over the next five years.

It has been developed by the South Gloucestershire Mental Health Partnership, which is made up of South Gloucestershire Council and the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The partnership looked at an Adult Mental Health Needs Assessment, which provides a wide-ranging picture of the current and projected future mental health needs in South Gloucestershire, to find areas for improvement. 

These include:

  • developing a culture that promotes positive mental health
  • addressing mental health inequalities in different groups
  • looking at how support services provide treatment

South Gloucestershire Council was recently recognised nationally for helping to tackle mental health problems.

In June this year, the council was issued the Sarah Stewart Brown Award for Public Mental Health in June for its programme of courses that help people understand and look after their own mental health.

But despite this, there is still more to be done according to Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader of the council.

He said: “Mental Health is both a local and national priority and whilst much good work has been undertaken over the past couple of years we know there is still much to do in South Gloucestershire.

“This strategy sets out our approach to help people develop and maintain their own mental health, but also acknowledges that some people will need specialist services.

"Where this is the case, services need to be high quality and to have the capacity to react to individuals’ needs quickly before illness becomes acute and long term."

The consultation runs from Monday, July 17 until Friday, October 6 and the public and other stakeholders are encouraged to comment on the approach as outlined in the strategy.

Feedback provided as part of the consultation will be used to shape the final strategy, which will be published in the autumn.

Find the consultation here.