Agenda item

Mental Health Strategy/Mental Health Review

Presentation from the Corporate Director of People.


The Sub-Committee received a presentation, setting out Harrow’s emerging Mental Health Strategy and Mental Health Review.


Officers outlined the presentation, focusing on the following key points:


·                     mental health disorders were common and on the rise.  The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic had had a detrimental impact, exacerbating long standing issues relating to age, occupation ad long-term health conditions, in particular within the Harrow’s BAME community, with. deterioration expected to continue across the wider population;


·                     a number of mental health areas had been identified which needed to be addressed through the provision of a comprehensive service and utilisation of a range of approaches;


·                     services for young people and proactive collaboration with schools played a key element in the mental health strategy.  Models such as Thrive were being used to promote good mental health amongst young people and the Council would take part in the 2020/21 wave of NHS England Mental Health Support Teams roll out in schools;


·                     mental health review not fully completed but had been able to move forward with some of the recommendations, drawing upon the service users experience and engagement with stakeholders and partners.  Further work was required on the pathway to employment which needed to be developed further;


·                     the review findings  highlighted the number of existing interdependencies between care partnerships, CCG and community hubs, the lack of appropriate accommodation pathway as well as lack of recognition of the full partnership potential of the community and voluntary sector.  Further work was required in improving collaboration and building on local experience;


·                     at the heart of the strategy was the community centred approach based around the needs of the individual, which was the Council was co-producing  with residents and service users.  The strategy would seek to expand on new ways of working and accommodate emerging needs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as explore a range of community offers;


·                     next  steps of the strategy included a refresh of the partnership between the Council and CNWL, establishing a co-production group,  re-designing the community support service and developing the recovery pathway.


The Chair thanked officers for their presentation.  Prior to opening the discussion, she gave an opportunity for a response to be provided to the public question received earlier at item 4.


Ms Freeman asked her original and supplemental questions which were responded to in brief by the Director of Strategy and Partnerships who was present at virtual meeting.  Due to time constraints, it was agreed that a detailed response would be provided in writing following the meeting.


The Chair thanked the resident for their question and invited further comments on the presentation from Members of the Sub-committee which were responded to as follows:


·                     online support was available for young people prone to mental health illnesses as a result of Covid.  Further investment was expected in the new financial year  towards mental health from NHS England, which would enable transformation and development of appropriate mental health pathway;


·                     number of school aged children reported anxiety as a result of Covid and lack of social interactions.  The Council was working towards providing a range of creative solutions and support but a significant surge of mental health referrals was nevertheless anticipated over the coming months;


·                     work with service users in designing the new mental health strategy was under way and the Council was continuing to develop virtual resources alongside its partner Wiseworks as well as exploring additional economic development opportunities.


The Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, who was present in the virtual meeting, welcomed the presentation and thanked officers for their work on the strategy and the review.  He endorsed the community engagement and person-centred approach and emphasised the need to have a robust and comprehensive recovery pathway.  He added that at this stage it was unclear when a return to normal working ways would take place due to the associated Covid-19 risks but provided assurance that closing council buildings was not currently under consideration.


RESOLVED: That the presentation on Mental Health Strategy/Mental Health Review be noted.

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