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Guernsey becomes signatory to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

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Monday 15 July 2019

The Committee for Health & Social Care is delighted to announce that Guernsey's health service has been approved as a signatory to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

Signatories of the concordat have to demonstrate an approach to improving the community's mental health by focusing on prevention and evidence-based planning, thereby reducing health inequalities. It offers an opportunity to share work and practices with other communities and build a wider move towards better mental health.

Deputy Soulsby, President of the Committee forHealth & Social Care explained:

"The commitment to promoting better mental health within the Bailiwick is of paramount importance to the health and wellbeing of all islanders. As such, we strongly endorse the principle that mental health and wellbeing should be given equal priority to physical health."

Public Health England (PHE) have led on establishing the Prevention Concordat Programme for Better Mental Health which focuses on promoting good mental health and preventing mental health problems.

Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health added

"This is relevant to Guernsey and Alderney as we progress with the mapping and implementation of our Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017 - 2020, progressing workstreams such as the community Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre. Becoming a signatory to the Prevention Concordat Programme for Better Mental Health will provide further evidence of our commitment to achieving better mental health for all islanders. We recognise that to transform our health and care system, we need to increase the focus on prevention and the wider determinants of mental health. We recognise the need for a shift towards prevention-focussed action to enable early help."

To date signatories to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health Programme have been located in England, but enquiries to Public Health England indicated that they would welcome the Bailiwick's involvement.

Achieving status as a signatory to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health has involved a number of steps in order to reach the stage where Public Health England reviewed and approved the Bailiwick's submission.

Heather Ewert, Public Health Practitioner said:

"What was most encouraging for us was that achieving compliance was more about consolidating what we do, than starting new work streams."

Our approval as a signatory to the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health has been formally announced through Public Health England communications. As a signatory we will also be asked to promote our involvement and deliver joint communications with Public Health England on the prevention concordat. We look forward to submitting our annual report to Public Health England, outlining our progress as we move forward with the implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan.

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