The conference was timed to coincide with the Welsh Government’s new ‘whole school’ approach to the mental health of children and young people and provided an opportunity to assess what more might be done to develop young people’s resilience and provide mental health support across school life. It also provided a chance to consider the early indications from the Welsh Government pilot initiative on specialised services in schools.
The government approach has been informed by the inquiry into the Emotional and Mental Health of Children and Young People and the seminar provided an opportunity to discuss the key issues highlighted by the report and whether steps being taken are appropriate and sufficient.
Delegates also considered priorities for Transition and Adult services - looking at the Welsh Government’s pilot funding scheme to promote social prescribing and community based care, and steps that might be taken to build on the findings of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s Inquiry into Suicide Prevention.
Other sessions looked at strategies for reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental health issues, ways to address the challenges for ensuring early intervention and delivering services closer to people’s homes, and opportunities for promoting greater collaboration between providers, as well as examining key issues around funding and access to mental health services.
Attendees also discussed the monitoring and regulation of mental health services, in the context of the Health Inspectorate’s Annual Report into the use of the Mental Health Act and the Joint HIW & CIW National Review of Adult Community Mental Health Services.