On the last day of January 2017, Cornwall and Somerset Police announced the first in a series of mental health appointments for the county’s people, people who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and people who are living with mental health issues.
It was a significant moment for people living with Mental Health.
The announcement came as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic, which was linked to an increase in mental health concerns.
It also came as people with mental illness struggled to access the care they needed.
There is a long way to go before the majority of people living in Cornwall will be able to access mental health care.
In 2017, only five of the 12 health and social care professionals in Cornwall were covered by the Government’s National Mental Health Strategy (NHSMS).
In 2017/18, only two of the 16 NHS mental health professionals were covered, one was not paid for by the Department of Health and one was funded by the National Health Service.
In 2019/20, only one of the nine NHS mental wellbeing professionals was covered.
While there is a need for more mental health providers in Cornwall, the majority are not receiving enough funding to ensure they can deliver services.
In January 2017 a major reorganisation of the NHS was announced, resulting in the elimination of some of the funding for the mental health workforce.
In addition, the Health and Social Care Act 2017 introduced the Mental Health Service Monitor, which will provide information to local authorities about the progress of people with serious mental health problems.
This is a vital component of ensuring that services for people with significant mental health needs are delivered.
There are many other challenges facing Cornwall in 2017 and 2018.
As we enter a new year, it is important that we continue to work towards a sustainable future for Cornwall and its people.
It is time to start building on the progress made by 2017 and to take positive steps towards providing a better, safer, more integrated mental health service for people.
The following article is part of a series covering Cornwall and the region, which has been published in January 2018.
For more information about mental health and mental health treatment, click here.