New plans agreed by Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, will see extended opening hours during evenings and weekends, and social care and NHS mental health specialist staff brought together within the centres. A ‘one stop shop’ approach will also be developed for more areas such as crisis support and support for young people and families.
Support from the centres can be accessed by dropping in or through GP referral.
Councillor Fairhurst said: “We are seeing an increasing number of people of all ages needing support with their mental health. Our plans for the Wellbeing Centres will make it much easier for people to access support in their local community as they will be able to drop in to their nearest centre. Our priority is to ensure that mental health is afforded the same attention and priority as physical health, which is what we are working on with our partners in the NHS to achieve.”
The improvement plans are part of a new £8 million contract funded by the County Council and Hampshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, awarded to Andover Mind, Solent Mind and Havant and East Hampshire Mind. These voluntary sector organisations, with mental health expertise, will work together to run the Wellbeing Centres across the county, from this month.
Debra Ramchurn, Chief Executive Officer of Andover Mind, commenting on behalf of the four organisations, said: "We are delighted to have secured funding from Hampshire County Council and the NHS to support those living with poor mental health. Our priority, as always, will be the welfare of those who use our service and we will continue to work in an innovative way to make it easier for Hampshire residents to get the mental health support they need.”
The £8 million contractual spend comprises £5.79 million from Hampshire County Council, and £2.25 million from Hampshire’s five Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Details of Hampshire’s Wellbeing Centres are available on the Connect to Support Hampshire website.