Developing Care For People With Mental Health Conditions

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A new guide to encourage mental health service users and their carers to have a greater role in the planning, development and delivery of mental health services has been published by the Welsh Assembly Government to mark World Mental Health Day.

The guide has been developed in consultation with mental health experts including Mind Cymru, health professionals, patients and carers and builds on the Assembly Government's Mental Health National Services Framework, which aims to provide access to high-quality services across Wales.

The document includes:

* a Charter for service users and carer participation which sets out rights and responsibilities;

* a 'Good Practice Checklist and Monitoring Tool' which can be used to self assess performance and measure progress; and,

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* practical examples showing where service users are involved in a number of initiatives.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "One in four people will have a mental health problem at some stage in their life.

Stronger in Partnership recognises that whilst professionals must always give their expert advice, it is the people who use the services who are the experts on how they feel and how their care can be improved.

If service users and their carers are involved fully in decision-making it will lead to a better quality of life and the ability to live more independently.

Gareth Jones of Mind Cymru said:

Mind Cymru welcome the publication of this document and look forward to seeing the guidance contained in it being put into action across Wales. We are particularly looking forward to seeing mental health service users and carers being part of the planning and development of services at a time of change in the NHS.

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