NewsUrgent Action Demanded on Mental Health Strategy in Jersey

Urgent Action Demanded on Mental Health Strategy in Jersey

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Patricia Winchester, the chief executive of independent advocates My Voice, is urging immediate action from Jersey’s government regarding a new strategy for future mental health support. Concerns have been raised about patients effectively being trapped on hospital wards due to the lack of available resources.

The call for action comes after Deputy Tom Binet, Jersey’s health minister, acknowledged during a scrutiny hearing that a budget for the proposed new plan was not yet available. The Health Department has estimated a need for approximately £1 million for the implementation of the new strategy.

Efforts to enhance mental health support in Jersey have been ongoing since 1996, with a focus on addressing the needs of an ageing population and providing comprehensive care for various mental health conditions.

Responding to queries about the proposed budget, Deputy Binet referred to the £1 million figure as a “ballpark” estimate and emphasized the importance of moving towards feasible plans that align with available resources. He suggested exploring ways to improve mental health care within existing funding, particularly for conditions such as dementia and neurodiversity, encompassing ADHD and autism.

Ms. Winchester stressed the urgency of addressing the situation within three months, highlighting the prolonged stays of mental health patients on clinical wards and the challenges faced by families in accessing assessments for their relatives. She also expressed concerns about the difficulties faced by care home residents with advanced dementia.

“Dementia and suicidality can happen to any of us,” Ms. Winchester emphasized, underscoring the need for concrete action to prioritize the most vulnerable members of society.

As discussions continue, there is a growing consensus on the critical need to expedite the implementation of a comprehensive mental health strategy to ensure timely and effective support for those in need.

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