How will Welsh Government address the need to dovetail mental health and addiction recovery services?
The Welsh Government continues to work with Area Planning Boards, their partners and experts to improve the outcomes for individuals who experience co-occurring conditions and in 2015 we issued a revised substance misuse treatment framework for people with mental health and substance misuse problems. Both the Mental Health and Substance Misuse delivery plans 2019 – 2022 include co-occurring mental health and substance misuse as a priority.
Officials meet with clinicians, practitioners and academics working on co-occurring issues at quarterly Deep Dive meetings. The aim of these meetings is to improve the outcomes for individuals with co-occurring issues and to remove operational barriers to implementing the framework requirements.
We also recognise the broad range of needs that individuals in mental health crisis present with, including substance misuse issues. Since 2021/22, we have invested £6m to support crisis services, with more funding to be made available from the draft budget in 2022/23. A key strand of this work will be developing a multi-agency approach which is critical to support person-centred provision, including for those with co-occurring conditions.
As part of an external evaluation of the Together for Mental Health Strategy 2012-2022 which we have commissioned Opinion Research Services (ORS) to undertake, they will consider how well the strategy’s vision has been implemented – a vison which highlighted the need to address co-occurring issues such as mental health and substance misuse. This work will make recommendations for the development of the next strategy.