20th November 2020, 20:29
The Mental Health Situational Analysis Report, commissioned in 2019, has been published by the Government today. The report has been published with a roadmap to recommendations.
The major finding was the need for a more joined-up approach across Gibraltar’s mental health services, to ensure a holistic emphasis on wellness, wellbeing and early intervention.
The Minister for Health has published the findings of an audit conducted by Public Health England on the mental health services in Gibraltar. Samantha Sacramento says one of the main shortcomings highlighted by the audit was the lack of cohesion between different services and departments. She also said a more holistic approach to individual well-being was required as well as a greater emphasis on early intervention.
The audit was completed in April of last year but had not been made public until today. Minister Sacramento said publishing both this audit and the mental health board report were two of her immediate priorities when she became Minister for Health, less than three months ago. She said she would have done so even sooner, but wanted to publish the findings only once she had a clear plan of how best to confront the issues found therein.
Ms Sacramento and Medical Director, Dr Rawal made specific mention of plans to audit the use of prescribed medications, of facilitating home visits so as to be able to treat patients more easily, and of giving particular attention to the issue of male suicides. The Ministry will also be conducting a public, anonymous survey on mental health provisions on the rock, saying the only way to make real improvements is to understand how the public feels about the service.
Joining the Minister and Medical Director, were Ian Walker, who authored the audit, and Karen Buckley, who will be tasked with directing projects in the new year which will implement change.
The full report can be accessed here.
The Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society is very pleased that the Mental Health Audit has finally been published and it thanks Minister Sacramento for having done so. The Society will study the contents carefully before it comments any further but it believes that an honest acknowledgement of how things stand is the first step to achieving real improvements in the system.