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Cumbria is lagging behind on mental health - people deserve better

November 20, 2014 9:41 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the NHS, councils and clinical commissioning groups within the county to do more on mental health. Tim has asked them to give mental health the same parity as physical health. He has also called on them to sign up to a national agreement of outcomes and expectations called the Crisis Care Concordat.

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat is an agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. It is supported by Mind and the Department of Health. It sets out how organisations will work together better to make sure that people get the help they need when they are having a mental health crisis. North Yorkshire has submitted a 'declaration statement' to the Department of Health which is the first stage to signing to concordat but Cumbria is lagging behind. Tim is calling for more action for people in Cumbria.

In North Yorkshire all the councils, police commissioner, NHS Trusts and Commissioning Groups have all signed up to common standards to improve outcomes for people with mental health conditions. Their declaration statement cab be found here: http://www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/North-Yorkshire-and-York-Declaration.pdf

The Crisis Care Concordat focuses on four main areas:

  • Access to support before crisis point - making sure people with mental health problems can get help 24 hours a day and that when they ask for help, they are taken seriously.
  • Urgent and emergency access to crisis care - making sure that a mental health crisis is treated with the same urgency as a physical health emergency.
  • Quality of treatment and care when in crisis - making sure that people are treated with dignity and respect, in a therapeutic environment.
  • Recovery and staying well - preventing future crises by making sure people are referred to appropriate services.

Although the Crisis Care Concordat focuses on the responses to acute mental health crises, it also includes a section on prevention and intervention. The Concordat builds on and does not replace existing guidance. Current service provision should continue while the Action Plan is being devised.

Tim said: "One in four people are affected by a mental health condition. The taboo around the issue means that so many people have to suffer in silence. We must all work together to end that. North Yorkshire are leading the way regionally on this and I want to see Cumbria catch up and so I am asking the NHS, councils and others to get round a table and create a common standard of crisis care for people in our county.

"We have had real successes in our campaigns on mental health and I hope if we can create this agreement we can say that mental health will have the same parity as physical health in Cumbria."