A panel of people with personal experience of mental health issues has helped to shape plans for future care provision, in a new partnership approach by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The West Midlands Mental Health Commission Citizens Jury Report has a series of 20 recommendations, which the Commission has committed to take into careful consideration as it develops its report.
WMCA launched its Mental Health Commission, believed to be the first in the country, in October last year and one of its first actions was to invite West Midlands residents with experience of mental health problems to take part in a Citizens Jury.
The 15 members held eight deliberation sessions before producing the recommendations which are illustrated by their own personal stories.
The Commission anticipates its findings will help advise government, as well as WMCA, on how public services can be transformed in the context of a devolution deal for mental health and well-being.
The Commission continues to consider evidence from around the West Midlands region and beyond – with particular focus on recognising the experiences of local people with mental health needs, as well as the knowledge of professional mental health practitioners and mental health organisations.
WMCA has also commissioned research in to poor mental health and well-being and its impact on the public sector.
Norman Lamb MP chairs the commission and Cllr Peter Lowe is the WMCA mental health champion.
Cllr Lowe said: “We are focusing on developing an innovative approach to mental health and well-being, working with a wide range of public and private sector partners, practitioners, service users and carers.”
“The Citizen’s Jury has given the Commission helpful insights and ideas and members of the Jury will continue to be part of our work.
“The views and personal stories of those who have experienced the impact of poor mental health help to enhance our understanding of where our recommendations can best be directed.”
The Commission is interested in hearing the opinions of anyone with a broader interest in mental health.
People can still participate by completing an online submission for the Commission to consider which can be found here https://westmidlandscombinedauthority.org.uk/what-we-do/commissions/mental-health/mental-health-commission-submission-form/.