A huge £134m action plan to start to transform mental health in Greater Manchester has been launched.
The investment, the biggest and most ambitious of its kind in the country, aims not only to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health but to start to deliver Greater Manchester’s vision of making sure that no child who needs mental health support will be turned away.
And with nearly 60 per cent of the cash – £80m – supporting the mental health needs of children, young people and new mums, it also reflects the commitment to increase the proportion of the budget focused towards young people.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has described the programme as “potentially life-changing” for thousands of people.
The wide-ranging, four-year programme aims to make sure thousands more children can get support where and when they need it, with the ambition that ultimately no child who needs mental health support will be turned away.
It will support all schools in meeting the mental health and wellbeing needs of their students and help new mums who experience significant mental health problems – babies and children whose mums suffer poor mental health can be affected through their whole life.
The programme aims to stop people who need hospital care for a mental health problem having to go out of Greater Manchester when the service is available here and makesure everyone in a mental health crisis is able to get immediate support (and that no one ends up in a police cell when they are in mental health crisis)
The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
This investment is potentially life changing for tens of thousands of people here.If we’re honest NHS mental health services have not always been what we wanted them to be in Greater Manchester.”
“As we transform the way we spend on mental health – and increase the proportion spent on children and young people – we’ll begin to see some real change. If we’re to build a 21st century NHS here it would be one that turns no child away who needs mental health support and is based on the principle of true parity between mental and physical health.”
“But we must go further if we’re to help every person here get on in life. It’s not enough to tackle mental health services alone. The pressures of debt, poverty, low paid and insecure jobs, poor housing, homelessness and loneliness all have a massive impact. I want everyone here to reach their potential, and this is why we’re tackling these areas as well.”
Funding for the investment plan comes from a number of different areas. The money given to Clinical Commissioning Groups for mental health improvements, the £450m Greater Manchester Transformation Fund (awarded as part of the devolution agreement) and existing funding streams.
Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, GMCA portfolio lead for Health and Social Care and Leader of Wigan Council, said:
“We’re leading the country in many areas of health improvement in Greater Manchester and I’m delighted that mental health is no different. Since we took charge we’ve worked together across Greater Manchester to make some huge improvements and we’re now more than meeting all our national targets.”
“But that’s not enough for us – it still means some people are not getting the help they need and are struggling on their own or within their families. We want to keep people well and will work with community groups and volunteers to help support individuals in their communities, or, for those who are suffering serious illness to give them the crisis and long-term help they need to look after their physical and mental health.”
“All the partners involved in mental health across Greater Manchester have inspired the action plan. NHS commissioners, local authorities and businesses will work together with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, those using services and carers to make the improvements.”