Jersey has faced unprecedented times over the past 18 months and the pressures of living under restrictions such as self – isolation, physical distancing , mask wearing and more recently the test and trace system has put many islanders of all ages under increasing risk of poor mental health. The Progress Party are concerned that many needing urgent help are not receiving the necessary care due to the current pressures on all areas of the service.
Adult mental health services have for some time been overseen by the Mental Health Improvement Board, a group made up of key stakeholders within the adult mental health sector. The MHIB works to improve services for all those seeking help through the Mental Health Improvement Plan. This plan agreed by the Board is critical in ensuring continued development of mental health services and it is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that this crucial board has not met for over 9 months.
The Progress Party strongly recommend that the Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf convene an urgent meeting of the MHIB to resume the important work of the Board and also immediately and formally appoints one of his Assistant Ministers with political responsibility for Adult Mental Health services. This was recommended by the 2018 Scrutiny Report on Adult Mental Health Services.
We are also recommending that the Health and Social Services Scrutiny Panel consider an urgent review of Adult Mental Health Services as a follow up their 2018 report. To ensure that there is a collaborative and holistic approach to supporting islanders mental health needs we also believe that a comprehensive review of all mental health services, both adult and children, should be considered with a view to improving services and reducing waiting times.