Sheffield mental health services get £1 million cash boost

A £1 million investment has been described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform community mental health services in Sheffield.

By Kev Rogers
Thursday, 13th May 2021, 6:21 pm

Primary and community mental health services in Sheffield will have £1million invested in them over the next three years, it has been announced.

The national charity, Rethink Mental Illness, has selected Sheffield to be one of four national sites in England to develop new models of delivering mental health care with voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs).

Will Higham of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the transformation of community mental health care services in Sheffield.

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"Working in alliance, we’ll make it easier for people to access support when they need it, providing support with the aspects of life which can have such a powerful influence over our mental health, such as employment, housing, and our physical health.

“Crucially, we’ll work with people with lived experience of mental illness to understand how services can support and improve their quality of life.

"Working together with organisations across the city, we’ll break down barriers between different agencies and tailor care to better meet the needs of people living in Sheffield.

"These are ambitious plans, but this is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform community mental health services, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The Primary and Community Mental Health Transformation Programme was tested in four areas of Sheffield last year and has already delivered improvements in how people access mental health support for serious mental illnesses such as; psychosis, bipolar disorder, long term depression, complex mental health need related to trauma, characteristics of personality disorder diagnosis and eating disorders.

The programme has developed a primary care and community-based support which offers improved access to psychological therapies, improved physical health care, personalised and trauma-informed care and medicine management for patients with serious mental illness. The programme is delivered in partnership between Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust, Primary Care Sheffield, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

The service is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of clinical psychologists and psychosocial practitioners, occupational therapists, mental health pharmacists, cognitive behavioural therapy therapists, primary care mental health practitioners, community connectors and health coaches, as well as voluntary sector support and activities.

The new funding will support VCSE providers to develop alliances which will enable them to reach a wider group of people.

Mental health service providers across the city have welcomed the initiative.

Helen Steers, of Voluntary Action Sheffield said: “ Voluntary organisations large and small demonstrated their agility and impact in supporting health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Sadly, many organisations in the city are now struggling to remain sustainable and this offer of expert support from Rethink Mental Illness and our partners in Sheffield will support us to develop a more sustainable and fairer voluntary and community sector to support an increasing demand for help in Sheffield”.

Margaret Lewis, of Sheffield Mind added: “We know that a person’s mental health is influenced by a variety of health, social and lifestyle factors beyond the treatment they received. In delivering these locally-based activities I am confident we will see a greater positive impact in people’s lives”.