Voluntary sector alliance for mental health services

Extensive engagement between the NHS and charities in Devon has helped shape how voluntary, community, social enterprise and independent sector (VCSEI) organisations can be at the forefront of improving mental health in the county.

The work has been taking place to help develop Devon’s new Community Mental Health Framework and an alliance of VCSEI organisations has now formed.

The alliance will work collaboratively with statutory health services and local authorities to agree on a contract, with a view to signing it in December. The alliance 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.

Amanda Kilroy, Chief Executive of CoLab Exeter, said: “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, said: “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.”

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