The West Midlands Mental Health Commission has released a plan to transform the way people with mental health issues are treated by public services in the region.
One of the key actions in the report is to embed more mental healthcare into primary care. In particular this means training and support to enhance the knowledge of practice nurses and introducing social prescribing into the area.
A working group of local and national experts, co-ordinated by NHS England, will ‘examine evidence and recommend the best primary care model(s) for the West Midlands,’ according to the report.
It will also consider the case for trialling screening in primary care to identify people with psychological needs.
Chair of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission, Norman Lamb MP, said that he wants the region ‘to lead the way in driving better mental health and wellbeing within our diverse communities and making more effective use of public resources to improve people’s lives’.
Recent research carried out across the West Midlands found poor mental health cost over £12 billion per year, including nearly £2 billion a year on the NHS.
Director for the West Midlands Mental Health Commission Superintendent Sean Russell, said: ‘Our ambition is not only to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the West Midlands but by doing so, create a more economic and sustainable arena for people now and in the future.’
The West Midlands Mental Health Commission is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, which brings together the local authorities to make strategic decisions across geographic council boundaries.