Headlines: July 28th, 2009

Social services leaders have welcomed a new consultation on the future of mental health services. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said it would be ‘the launchpad for a national debate on mental health and wellbeing, and a vision for services in 2020 designed to promote a mentally healthier society, while supporting those people who need specialist care and treatment.’

The Association played a part in drawing up the consultation document, as part of A Future Vision Coalition with Directors of Children’s Services and the Local Government Association. In contributing to the consultation now it intends to stress the profound impact which personalisation of services can have in giving people with mental health issues control over their lives.

ADASS said it would also emphasise the wider role that could be played by local government in promoting mental wellbeing through activities such as the provision of good housing, economic development, advice services and work for safer communities. Directors will also point to the importance of joining up practice around parenting and mental health, which was recently highlighted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Richard Webb, the co-chair of the ADASS Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Network, said the consultation built on the National Service Framework had highlighted key issues around inequalities, social exclusion and personalisation. He added: “Directors have welcomed the way in which the Department of Health has worked with partners and we look forward to what the Minister has described as a ‘multi-agency alliance that can tackle the root causes of poor mental health’ and get support to people where and when they most need it.”