Aiming to remove the stigma around mental health issues
This month sees 25 voluntary and community sector organisations working together in Birmingham to create a strong alliance which improves patient choice and delivers services where people need them most.
1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year and because of stigma many people struggle to access the support they need.
The Birmingham Mental Health Consortium, formally launched in 2011, was established to provide greater access to mental health and wellbeing services in Birmingham, and will deliver a city-wide mental wellbeing service in partnership with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. This programme is called Healthy Minds and will be delivered by four organisations within the Consortium, providing access to a range of services through GP surgery and community locations.
Cath Gilliver, Chair of the Consortium, says ‘We believe this service is going to transform how people receive support to help them better manage and recover from their mental health problems’, while Fiona McGruer, Programme Director for Healthy Minds at Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, said ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Birmingham Mental Health Consortium; this means that accessible services are provided within the community, reaching a wider group of people who can benefit from these specialist interventions.’
The service has a particular emphasis on supporting the wellbeing needs of ethnic and minority communities and other disadvantaged groups.
According to Amra Dautovic, Consortium Director, ‘Many people do not access mental health support because of the stigma associated with traditional services. We believe that this partnership between the public and community sector will enable people from across all communities to access the support that they need’.