Wednesday 16 Jun 2010 @ 08:46
A blueprint for maximising the contribution allied health professionals (AHPs) make to supporting people with mental health problems has been unveiled by Public Health Minister Shona Robison.
The plan will help bring together the work of AHPs in mental health with service users and carers, professional bodies and NHS boards in a bid to further improve the quality and range of care and support delivered to people with a mental illness.
The three-year action plan has a number of key actions, structured to make the biggest possible difference to improving the lives of service users and their carers, including:
enhancing timely access to AHP services for service users and carers
exploring and developing the concept of supported self-management for service users and carers
developing partnerships with service users and carers, other health professionals and agencies through better joint working
promoting improved mental health and wellbeing
expanding the AHP role in designing and delivering psychological therapies
supporting individuals to learn new skills and help them into work
The action plan aims to deliver earlier intervention and foster access to these important AHP services that promote wellbeing, support recovery and enable people to live their lives to the full. This work includes support for service users to stay in or return to work, education or productive living and aims to maximise quality of life.
Launching the report at The Hub in Edinburgh, Ms Robison said: "This action plan is designed to improve access, tackle inequity, promote self-management and enable greater independence.
"Crucially it is based on what service-users have told us they want from their services. They have identified that early intervention, support to manage their own conditions and aid recovery and promoting improved physical health and mental wellbeing are the most important ways in which AHPs can have the most positive impact.
"These are in line with the Scottish Government's aims of ensuring good quality services are available for everyone who needs them and improving the mental wellbeing of the people in Scotland."
The three-year action plan will be implemented locally and driven by AHPs. The plan will also be supported nationally by an Implementation Board, involving key stakeholders and an AHP mental health clinical leaders group that will link directly into current mental health performance monitoring systems.
Mental health can affect anyone at any time. AHPs such as occupational therapists, arts therapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists play a key role in supporting the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of individuals and their recovery from mental health problems.
Realising Potential: An Action Plan for Allied Health Professionals in Mental Health