Discussions to improve mental health enter their final stage

Discussions between local NHS organisations and charities to improve the mental health of people in Devon have entered their final stage.

Extensive engagement over the past few months have helped shape how voluntary, community, social enterprise and independent sector (VCSEI) organisations can be at the forefront of Devon’s new Community Mental Health Framework. Those discussions have led to a point where an alliance of VCSEI organisations has formed. This alliance will now be working collaboratively with statutory health services and local authorities to agree on a contract, with a view to signing this in December. The alliance of charities will then be at the heart of plans to improve how people in Devon with severe mental health problems are supported.

The alliance comprises:

  • Improving Lives Plymouth,
  • Devon Mind,
  • Shekinah,
  • Step One,
  • CoLab Exeter and
  • Rethink Mental Illness

These organisations have a long track record of supporting people. Each will be able to bring particular knowledge and experience to make the combined force even stronger.

Commenting on the entering this final stage, Amanda Kilroy, Chief Executive of CoLab Exeter, says: ‘As an alliance of locally based organisations, we work with over 30,000 people a year to improve their mental health. This opportunity will provide a platform for us to increase the impact we make, and a framework to support wider VCSEI and statutory partners across the county who do such a great job in raising the wellbeing of Devon residents.”

Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s Senior Commissioning Manager for Adult Mental Health, Justin Wiggin, says: “A lot of hard work has gone in to reaching this important stage. The response to our initial plans from the VCSEI sector has been amazing. We have now reached the stage where we can sit down together and get into the detail of the role Devon’s VCSEI will play in delivering the Framework and improving the support available across the county.”

You can find out more about the Community Mental Health Framework on this site.