The Bailiwick's new mental health strategy will cover Alderney, with Sark residents being considered in the process so far too.
While Guernsey's Health and Social Care Committee has responsibility for the provision of services in Alderney, Sark's primary health care services are provided independently through a GP.
The new Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy published this week has been welcomed by the Alderney Care Board (ACB) which has agreed with the Director of Public Health that it will benefit Alderney residents.
“There will be a greater degree of integration and as a result, accessibility should increase,” said Ian Carter, one of two Alderney Members on the five-strong ACB.
The new strategy aims to offer a more cohesive service by focusing on 'four pillars' for success.
Those four pillars aim to bring together local data and evidence to inform local services, information access and signposting, improving those available services, and then acting on feedback and reviews.
The strategy was drawn up by experts from mental health and public health services, charities and people with lived experience of poor mental health themselves.
Dr Nicola Brink, the Bailiwick's Director of Public Health, said it will be monitored with yearly appraisals throughout the five year life span of the strategy. That feedback will then be used to develop the strategy for the long term.
“This piece of work has been a true joint effort, with members from across the States of Guernsey [and] the voluntary and private sectors working in partnership to improve mental health for islanders," she said.
"There is a welcome focus on the building blocks for good health such as housing, good pay, safe and accessible green spaces and good quality education. Services themselves are only one part of the puzzle.”
Pictured: Dr Nicola Brink.
Mr Carter said he is sure the strategy will lead to a greater level of care for Alderney's residents.
“This is to be welcomed especially as it’s a strategy that aligns with our Island policy of health and social care collaboration across the board.
"Data integration can only improve signposting for those in need and as a result, people will be better looked after and outcomes will be improved.”
The Alderney Care Board was formed to explore how health and care provision in Alderney could evolve, taking into account transferred services and on-island experience.
Coordinated healthcare, social prescribing and mental health support for improved health and wellbeing are part of the ACB strategy agreed by the Island’s Policy & Finance Committee earlier in the summer.
The ACB and others in Alderney were involved in discussions while the new strategy was being drawn up, while Sark's health committee were also included as observers as residents in Sark won't directly be affected.
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