Strong working relationships and person-centred care are key to successful early intervention in mental health according to a new NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) report.
The report, Support from the Start: Commissioning for early intervention in mental ill health, highlights four projects where CCGs and their partners are tackling the challenge of early intervention.
Developed by NHSCC’s Mental Health Commissioners Network, the report aims to share learning and good practice from these projects to support the implementation of intervention services elsewhere.
The report draws out key advice including understanding the true impact of mental ill health, valuing clinical leadership and remembering the importance of strong working relationships.
The CCGs also encourage the use of engagement as the basis of everything and ensuring that the service is person centred.
Dr Phil Moore, chair of the NHSCC Mental Health Commissioners Network and deputy chair of Kingston CCG, said: “Mental healthcare has long been characterised as a Cinderella service and while recent years have seen it rightly move up the political agenda, reversing years of neglect won’t happen overnight.
“This is particularly the case with early intervention, as often services have only been available once a problem starts to severely impact an individual’s life, despite the difference that providing early support can make.
“An important step in moving towards there being more high-quality early intervention services available is sharing learning about those projects that exist.
“This is what we are doing through publishing ‘Support from the Start’, which centres on four excellent projects and contains advice from commissioners and practitioners involved in their development and delivery.
“Commissioners don’t need persuading of the importance of mental health – as front-line clinicians and GPs like myself, we see the impact that poor mental health has on our patients every day.
“We understand the importance of first-class services being available and are determined to make this happen.”
The four featured projects are early intervention in psychosis in Salford, a programme to boost the resilience of school children in Hounslow, providing a service to help those who have been bereaved through suicide in Cornwall and supporting women with perinatal mental health issues in Coventry and Warwickshire.