Tuesday 10 October 2017
I am delighted to publish, on behalf of the Committee for Health & Social Care, the States of Guernsey generally and our community partners, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan.
This is of course within National Mental Health Awareness Week and therefore a timely point at which to make public our current and future intentions in relation to the emotional wellbeing of islanders.
The Plan is the result of wide consultation led by MIND, in partnership with the States of Guernsey, and it seeks to translate the broad intentions set out in the 2013 Mental Health Strategy into achievable actions. However, what makes this Plan different from the original strategy is the greater emphasis on prevention and emotional wellbeing and also what each one of us can do to promote our own positive emotional and mental health, as well as that of our friends, families and colleagues in the workplace. This reflects the Committee for Health & Social Care's explicit commitment to give mental health the same status as physical health in our Policy & Resource Plan.
There is now so much compelling evidence about the links between the mental and physical health and the need to take a strong public health promotion approach if we are to make a real difference in the longer term. As such, the Plan will link clearly to the proposed new model of health and care when this is published later in the year and which will place strong emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week there will be a range of activities for islanders to highlight mental health issues and to encourage open debate and conversation that seeks to break down the stigma associated with mental illness. This includes the Thrive 20:20 conference at the end of the week. I look forward to meeting the speakers at that event and understanding opportunities that the States of Guernsey can help facilitate that will improve mental health outcomes.
I am confident that this Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan, with its focus on prevention and wellbeing, will provide a helpful framework for some of the discussion over the coming week and into the future. I am also hopeful that fellow islanders will be able to engage with it and to become part of the positive conversation that it seeks to encourage.