Improving Services

A Sense of Belonging lays out how not just mental health services but public services in general can improve how they work to support mental health and well being.

Of central importance to improving services is the involvement of people who use mental health services, carers and communities.

Supporting people who use services

There is a long history of people who use mental health services being involved in planning and improving services in Lothian.

Priorities raised by people who use mental health services as part of the consultation for the strategy include:

  • Making sure that people planning services are listening to the views of people who use services by prioritising and implementing what matters to them.
  • That the rights of people who use mental health services to be part of decisions and discussions about what they need and how it should be provided are respected.
  • Attention to the whole person, not only to the symptoms of mental ill-health, to promote mental health and wellbeing. This includes better care for physical health needs.
  • More social support in the community to keep people well and to stop things reaching crisis point, including projects using peer support, volunteering, and buddying schemes.

Supporting Carers

Caring for someone with a mental health problem can have significant implications for almost every aspect of daily life and potential impact on the carer’s family and social life, work and health.

A Sense of Belonging recognises that many carers are older people and have specific needs for respite and additional support. Equally we must recognise particular issues for young carers.

Overall A Sense of Belonging recognises that Mental Health Services in Lothian require further significant reshaping, including the additional strengthening of community-based services. Ensuring that carers and people who use services are part of that planning and improvement is core to A Sense of Belonging.

Last Reviewed: 16/07/2014