1. Commit to a new cross-government strategy on preventing mental health problems.
This means taking action to increase the protective factors for good mental health and reduce the risk of experiencing poor mental health.
Government departments - including those responsible for communities, the economy, transport, housing, education, criminal justice and health - must work together on a new strategy with commitments and actions to increase the protective factors for good mental health and reduce the risk of experiencing poor mental health.
The strategy must address inequalities and be co-produced with the people of Wales and with the voluntary sector. The Minister for Mental Health and Well-Being has a critical role in bringing a new cross-government strategy together, and ensuring cross-government responsibility and accountability for the actions within it.
2. Tackle inequalities in the new cross-government strategy to prevent mental health problems.
The government’s prevention strategy should set out how each government department will tackle mental health inequalities through proportionate universalism. These universal and targeted actions should be co-produced and then reviewed and, if necessary, adapted on an annual basis. We want to see a targeted ‘offer’ for young people as they move through key transition points.
3. All public services should be trauma-informed by adopting standards of practice, guidance and training on trauma-informed approaches.
We want to see all public services in Wales adopting trauma-informed approaches. Listening, empathetic services that place the person at their centre should become the norm for schools and other education settings, workplaces, health and social care services, emergency services and criminal justice services. All government departments responsible for these services should ensure that standards of practice, guidance and training are available and implemented across Wales.
4. Widen access to ‘social prescribing’ such as art projects, peer-to-peer projects and access to nature.
The next government should work with local authorities, the NHS and the third sector to increase support and access to social prescribing projects in Wales. More funding is required to increase the availability of social prescribing and the research capacity to extend and strengthen its evidence base.
5. Address rural mental health by assessing, identifying and increasing the availability of mental health and well-being support, including the mobilisation of local resources and peer-to-peer approaches.
We want the next government to prioritise rural mental health and to assess, identify and increase the availability of mental health and well-being support. This should include the mobilisation of local resources and peer-to-peer solutions. Consideration should be given to inequalities issues, such as support for young people and older people and provision of support in the Welsh language.
Policy and advocacy in Wales
We work to develop an evidence-base to influence current mental health policies in order to create a society in which everyone can enjoy good mental health.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan Consultation – England
In July 2022, we responded to a government consultation on their vision for a new, ten-year mental health and wellbeing plan.