More than £8m of new investment in adult mental health services in Wales has been announced by Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford.
The additional funding will develop services to support people with dementia and increase the availability of psychological therapies across Wales.
More than £4.5m will be invested in supporting people with dementia. There will be extra investment in occupational therapy and activity support on older people’s mental health wards – two areas which were highlighted in the recent programme of spot checks on these wards in hospitals across Wales.
Psychiatric liaison teams will also be set up at all district general hospitals to ensure people have access to timely mental health assessments on admission, which will in turn help to reduce their length of stay and readmission rates.
Almost £2m more will be invested to deliver the Programme for Government commitment to improve access to psychological therapies for adults. An action plan to help services increase the availability of talking treatments will be launched shortly.
£1.5m will be allocated to improve mental health outcomes for women with perinatal illnesses, their babies and other children. This will form an important component of the Welsh Government’s early years approach, which is linked to the tackling poverty agenda.
In addition, nearly £230,000 will be provided to health boards and local authorities to support the implementation of new legislative requirements under the Mental Capacity Act.
Professor Drakeford said:
“The £8m investment I am announcing today will help to further improve adult mental health services across Wales.
“The new funding for services to support people affected by dementia will underpin our Wales: a Dementia Friendly Nation initiative, which I launched in April and is in addition to the £1m of funding that I announced at the time.
“We already spend more on mental health services than on any other part of the NHS; today’s announcement – on top of the £7.6m announced last month for child and adolescent mental health services – is a further demonstration of our commitment to this vital part of the health service.
“The additional investment will drive a range of important improvements in a number of key areas linked to the priorities set out in the Welsh Government’s mental health strategy Together for Mental Health, ensuring people who need care and support receive the right services in the right place at the right time.”