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Strategy outlines future of mental health services

06 November 2015

A proposed mental health strategy for Jersey has been launched. Publication of the strategy comes after extensive planning and consultation involving those who use Jersey’s mental health services, the staff who provide them and partner organisations.

Mental illness is one of the major public health challenges for Jersey, as well as many other jurisdictions. A UK survey has estimated that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime​, and although awareness and understanding about mental health is growing, a clear need was identified to redesign services.

Significant investment in mental health services in Jersey since 2013 has included the launch of Jersey Talking Therapies, enhanced health visiting services, and more support for those with alcohol issues. The Mental Health Strategy looks to the future, setting out what Island residents can expect mental health services in Jersey to look like in the years to come.

Those involved in the review of mental health services were asked to consider four main areas

  • public mental health and wellbeing (everyday stresses and strains)
  • early intervention (nipping problems in the bud)
  • acute intervention (when things get worse)
  • recovery and support (helping us cope and return to normal)

These in turn informed the five key priorities outlined in the Mental Health Strategy

  • social inclusion and recovery
  • prevention and early intervention
  • service access, care co-ordination and continuity of care
  • quality improvement and innovation
  • leadership and accountability

Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green said “I and my fellow Ministers warmly welcome this strategy. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and we want all Islanders to not only enjoy good mental health, but also to be reassured that if they do need help and support, the right services are available to them.

“One of the most important aspects of this strategy is that it has not been done in isolation. We have made every effort to involve not just health professionals, but other organisations who work with people with mental health issues in the course of their work, such as the police, Education, and many others.
“Voluntary sector organisations have also been closely involved, as have service users, which is perhaps the most important aspect of all. We are indebted to everyone who has given up their time to ensure that the development of this strategy has been such a comprehensive process.”

​Common set of priorities

Andrew Heaven, who led the Mental Health Services Review for the Health and Social Services Department, said “We now have a common set of priorities and a momentum to begin to make the changes necessary to improve mental health in Jersey. The emphasis going forward will be on working together to implement the improvements described in the strategy.”

Link to Mental Health Strategy

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