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More people living with mental health problems than ever before will benefit from better support thanks to improvements to be approved by Richmond Council's Cabinet on Thursday, February, 13.
The Mental Health Strategy Implementation Plan will make sure more people have access to an improved service. Developed by the Joint Commissioning Collaborative (JCC) which works on behalf of Richmond Council and the Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the plan focuses on five key objectives:
  • Strengthening the role of service users and carers: Making sure service users and cares are fully involved in decision-making within the delivery of care and the commissioning of services.
  • Prevention and early intervention: Targeted prevention for people at risk of mental ill health and early intervention for people with symptoms of mental illness.
  • Acute care and crisis intervention: making sure people experiencing a crisis have quick access to high quality and safe care.
  • Recovery and independent living
  • Mainstreaming mental health services
The main aims of the strategy, which is also due to be approved at the forthcoming CCG Governing Body in March, are to make sure:
  • More people have access to and benefit from psychological therapies.
  • Fewer people with serious mental illness die prematurely.
  • More people receive a formal diagnosis of dementia as a proportion of people estimated to have dementia.
  • Improved post diagnosis care for people with dementia – sustaining independence and improving quality of life. 
  • More people with mental illness are employed. 
  • More people with mental illness say services help them feel safe.
Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adults' Services, Cllr David Marlow, said:  "Mental health services are already tremendously successful in Richmond – these plans are about ensuring services continue to go from strength-to-strength in future years. These improvements will make sure people living with mental health problems receive the best possible care. Protecting the borough's most vulnerable residents is a key priority for the Council and our partners the CCG and we take this duty of care extremely seriously."
Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group, Chair, Andrew Smith said: "Good, well run mental health services including access and improved diagnosis are an important part of what Richmond CCG and Richmond Council want to offer borough residents. It is important that we regularly review the services that are provided locally to ensure that they continually meet the needs of our local population."
The Mental Health Strategy Implementation Plan builds on the successful Joint Adults' and Older People Mental Health Strategies which were put in place in 2010. Since then a great deal of progress has been made within mental health services. However, there is a need to revisit the plan to make sure it remains relevant to the current health and social care environment and takes into account national and local policies.
It is estimated that 20,000 people in Richmond have a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety – of which half may require treatment. That figure is low compared to most areas across England and the Capital, national figures show. However, this figure remains a considerable number - and it is increasing. The rise can be explained due to the expanding population, which will rise by four per cent by 2015, and nine per cent by 2020.