A NATIONAL mental health project that
seeks to deliver an 'ask once - get help fast' service for people
in distress is to be piloted in Lanarkshire.
Known as Distress Brief Intervention (DBI), staff across a wide
range of agencies will be trained to help people in distress manage
difficult emotions and problem situations at the earliest possible
People will then be supported to overcome their immediate
challenges and develop ways to look after their well-being,
preventing future distress.
On Wednesday, the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt,
announced that Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire
(H&SCNL) and South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care
Partnership (SLH&SCP) have been selected to host the national
DPI team on behalf of the Government. The Lanarkshire partnerships
will also join four other partnerships across Scotland as a test
site for the programme.
General Manager for Mental Health and Learning Disability
Services in Lanarkshire, Paula Macleod, said: "The aim of DBI is to
listen, learn, understand and share how we can provide more
co-ordinated, consistent and compassionate responses to people who
experience distress across Lanarkshire and Scotland "We want to do
this in a way that really makes a difference to people's lives,
their families and friends."
Kevin O'Neill, Public Mental Health & Well-being
Development Manager at NHS Lanarkshire said, "Feeling low, stressed
and overwhelmed with the challenges of life can be emotions that we
all feel. Let's all feel comfortable talking about our mental
health, know where to go for support and be compassionate in our
response to others."
The need to improve response to distress has been strongly
advocated by service users and front line service providers
In Lanarkshire, there is a long-standing culture of integrated
working. Representatives of H&SCNL, SLH&SCP - encompassing
NHS Lanarkshire and the respective North and South Lanarkshire
Councils - made the successful bid to host the project with various
partners. They include North and South Lanarkshire Choose Life
Implementation Groups, Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership,
third sector, Police, Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, service
users and carers.
Calum Campbell, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, said:
"Strong partnership, planning, governance and accountability
structures have seen good progress made across Lanarkshire with
regard to improvingmental health services, promoting mental
well-being and preventing mental illness "The fact Lanarkshire has
been selected to host the DBI is testament to that hard work."
Janice Hewitt, Chief Accountable Officer of H&SCNL, added:
"This is a hugely important service for us to pilot in Lanarkshire.
It recognises that mental health can affect any of us at any time.
We need to ensure that we have services in place for those with
long term illnesses and those who only need us for short episodes
in their lives "Having well trained health and social care staff as
well as those from other partner organisations is critical in
improving the mental health and well-being of our communities in
Lanarkshire. It is our mission to provide the right support at the
right time and in right place."
Harry Stevenson, Chief Officer of SLH&SCP said: "This
initiative will help ensure there is no wrong door for those in
distress, whether they approach social work, health or partner
organisations such as the police or ambulance service "The DBI will
build on the well established spirit of joined up, coordinated
working, placing the person at the centre of everything we do."
The Scottish Government will provide £4.2m (from an £150 million
additional investment fund in mental health services) to develop
and test the effectiveness of the DBI over a four year period to
Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt announced the host and
partner agencies at the Houldsworth Centre in Wishaw. She said:
"Early intervention like this is such an important part of how we
treat mental health and will be a key part of our new ten-year
strategy, which will be unveiled later this year.
"The Distress Brief Intervention is all about equipping people
with the skills and support to manage their own health and to
prevent future crisis. DBIs are one way of delivering on our "ask
once, get help fast" commitment"
"I'm delighted that Lanarkshire Partnerships will be host
and partner for the next phase of work along with Penumbra in
Aberdeen, Support in Mind in Inverness, NHS Greater Glasgow &
Clyde and its constituent Health and Social Care Partnerships, and
NHS Borders Joint Mental Health Service. I look forward to hearing
of its progress."