A single point of contact for well-being and mental health for people living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire launches today (Monday 20 June).
Hywel Dda University Health Board is the first health board in Wales to launch a dedicated mental health advice service, offering support for all age groups through the established 111 call line. From today people will be able to access the service by phoning 111 and selecting option 2 where they will be put through to a mental health practitioner.
The service will be accessible 7 days a week from 9.00am through to 11.30pm, with plans in place to move to a 24/7 operating hours later in the year.
Deputy Minister for Mental Health, Lynne Neagle, said: “This new service will improve access for urgent mental health support and todays launch at Hywel Dda marks the start of the all Wales roll-out.
“We have provided £6m in government funding to support health boards to implement this key service which will be accessed via 111 and press 2 for mental health. Our aim is for 24/7 coverage across all of Wales by the end of the year.”
Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations for Hywel Dda University Health Board: “When we began the Transforming Mental Health journey we had a clear ambition to move away from a traditional service model to redesigning services for the benefit of local people.
“The development of a single point of access has remained a priority for the health board and provides a foundation for future mental health services which are patient centred, responsive, and accessible.
“I’m incredibly proud that we are the first health board in Wales to go live with this service. It’s truly been a team effort and I’d like to thank everyone involved.”
Liz Carroll, Director Mental Health & Learning Disabilities, Hywel Dda University Health Board commented: “We really welcome the opportunity to be the first health board in Wales to go live with the Mental Health 111 service.
“We are pleased to say that we have had a really enthusiastic response from our staff and our key stakeholders in the development of this.
“This service will enable our population to access a single point of contact that can be used by those who want to seek information from themselves or loved ones in relation to mental health concerns or queries.
“Importantly those are operating the service will have the ability to assist in directing individuals to those services that best meet their requirements providing timely access.”
Superintendent Ross Evans, Dyfed-Powys Police lead for Mental Health added: “We welcome this new service and acknowledge the work of Hywel Dda UHB, Welsh Government and key stakeholders in achieving this milestone.
“All of our control room staff have received additional mental health training in readiness and we will continue to work closely with health colleagues who are delivering the service.
“Our collective focus continues to be on ensuring swift access to the best and most appropriate services.”
This service forms part of the National Six Goals for Urgent and Emergency Care Programme aimed at “right care in the right place first time” principle, and has been designed from looking at best practice models in Scotland and England as well as learning from key local stakeholders including service users, staff, West Wales Action for Mental Health and the Community Health Council.
The need for a single point of contact was highlighted as part of the health board’s public consultation on Transforming Mental Health Services in 2017.