Thursday, 15 August 2019

Together for Mental Health consultation - a Powys view

Individual rep, Sarah Dale, on Llandudno beach

Our Participation Officer, Owen Griffkin, shares a report on the Welsh Government 
Consultation for the ‘Together for Mental Health’ Delivery Plan 2019 - 2022

On a sunny day (with scattered showers) I attended the consultation event for the Together for Mental Health plan 2019-2022. I was there to accompany one of our individual representatives, Sarah Dale, who felt it is was important for Powys to have a voice in one of the live consultations. This all day event was in a beautiful location in Llandudno, Venue Cymru, with a lovely sea view, which almost made the 150 mile round trip worth it.

Together for Mental Health is the Welsh Government's 10 year cross governmental strategy and was published in 2012. This consultation is to inform the last 3 years of the plan and to look at the priorities that have been identified and how they will be implemented.

The day was chaired by Ainsley Bladon, the Mental Health Strategy Lead at the Welsh Government, who is regularly seen at both regional and national partnership events. She introduced the delivery plan with a short presentation and then we moved on to the first question for discussion.

This was looking at the key priorities for the next 3 years and there were a lot of themes arising that we have come across in other engagement events. Some of these included - transition from Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to adult services, accessing mental health services with substance misuse issues, difference in service depending on location and funding of third sector (voluntary) organisations.

Also a big point raised was the accessibility of legislation and documents to the ordinary person. There is a lot of jargon and acronyms in the consultation document and this has proved a barrier to some people in disseminating the information. Ainsley said they had heard this a lot and they will look to change this in the future.

Sarah was very vocal about the need to ensure that basic service provision is met in Powys and that locally this is a priority - eg 24 hours crisis care. She also spoke passionately about the Talk to Me 2 suicide and self-harm plan, saying that it didn’t have enough mention of self-harm.

Next we were asked if the cross-cutting workstreams were appropriate to prioritise, which once again prompted some explanation requests about the technical language of the document.

These priority areas can be seen in this photo:

We were able to share some of the findings of the recent care and treatment plan engagement events held by Powys Teaching Health Board in Powys as this is linked to the ‘Core data set’ requirement, and also highlighted some of the specific issues in Powys around engagement.

After lunch, and a very quick stroll along the prom, we returned to look at what the room thought the key impacts would be and how we can increase positive effects whilst mitigating negative effects. The importance of third sector organisations was highlighted again, and a few people spoke about the relationship between staff and service users and the importance of being listened to in that relationship. 

We then ended with a reflective exercise on the effectiveness of the day and an assurance that results of the consultation will be fed back to everyone who attended. We closed with a thank you speech from Tracey Breheny, the fairly-new Deputy Director of Mental Health. It was interesting to hear that she is also responsible for Substance Misuse and Vulnerable Groups which hopefully augurs well for more coordination and understanding of the co-occurring issues of substance misuse and mental health. She also came out with the quote of the day when she said that all the comments would be ‘fed into the sausage machine of the Welsh Government’ and processed into a report.

All in all the day was definitely worth our while going although it is a shame that there isn’t an event closer to Mid Wales. It is vital that Powys has its voice heard in this consultation as we have a lot of issues specific to our county and I therefore urge anybody with an interest in the delivery plan for Mental Health services to fill in the online consultation before August 30th. You can participate by visiting the link on the following webpages:



There is also another consultation event in Carmarthen on the 28th August that I recommend attending if you have the time.

Room TL5 (Ground Floor), Teaching and Learning Building, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen Campus, SA31 3EP.

The day will be structured as follows:

Morning 10:00 – 12:30 – Discussion of Priority Areas
Lunch 12:30 - 1:30
Afternoon 1.30 – 4.00pm – Considering Impact and Delivery

To take part please RSVP to Darren Lewis ( including the following details:

Name, organisation (if relevant) and e
vent you wish to attend (West Wales in this case). Expenses and lunch are provided on the day. 

If you fill in the consultation, or attend the Carmarthen event, please let us know at PAVO. You can email or ring 01597 822191. We might be able to help you organise lift shares and put you in touch with others attending.

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