New support for people with mental health needs is vital‏

I was really pleased to hear the Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford announce a new round of investment in practical support for individuals with mental health needs during hospital visits.

A visit to hospital can be a worrying and uncertain time for any patient, and being in an hospital environment can often can trigger increased levels of anxiety for those with a mental health condition. Dementia patients are particularly affected by this, with the unfamiliar environment of hospital causing confusion and distress. This in turn presents an additional challenge to busy staff, and an additional worry for relatives of the patient affected, especially during overnight and lengthy stays in hospital.

It’s great news that a Welsh Labour Government will invest £2.3m to create new teams to provide extra support – especially in the evening and at night – for people with mental health needs, including dementia.

This investment is part of a wider £30 million package of support for mental health and older people in 2016-17. This includes vital funding to reduce waiting times for local memory clinics for those living with Alzheimer’s and initial assessments for dementia, and an extra £1.15m for psychological therapies for inpatient older person and adult mental health services.

I want to see this investment in specialised mental health services continue in the long-term.