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Agenda item

Recovery Colleges


The Head of Mental Health Services introduced a follow up report to that presented to the Panel on 31st August 2017 on the preventative mental health services in Slough, particularly recovery colleges where service users were supported to better manage their own mental health problems.


The Panel welcomed two peer mentors to the meeting who shared their experiences of mental health services and highlighted the value of recovery colleges by working with the community, reducing isolation and provided a positive and supportive environment for service users.  Working with peer mentors was considered to be a key factor in the success of the programme.  The approach being taken to deliver preventative services of this kind was in line with the policy direction set by the NHS Five Year Forward View 2016 and the Care Act 2014.


Members raised a range of issues during the course of the discussion which can be summarised as follows:


·  The relationship with services such as talking therapies.  It was responded that the two were complimentary and were part of the same pathway.

·  It was generally agreed that tackling the stigma of mental health in the workplace was an important priority and the Panel noted the range of activities to raise awareness of this issue.

·  The therapeutic benefits of engaging people in activities such as horticulture and sport was recognised and the ‘Growing Better Lives’ project and several sport related programmes operating locally were highlighted as delivering successful outcomes.

·  Concern was raised that 75% of people experiencing mental health problems were not using health services and the reasons for this were discussed.  It was an ongoing task to raise awareness to increase access to services for example by reducing stigma, encouraging GP referrals and improving community based provision.

·  The interaction with partners such as Slough Healthwatch and MIND was raised and Members encouraged further joint working with appropriate organisations locally.

·  There had been a significant increase in the number of people using and benefitting from the recovery college with 163 courses delivered between March 2015 to December 2017 and 615 students self enrolling.


The wider issue of adult social care funding was raised and a Member commented that spend in Slough was lower than the national average.  The Director of Adults & Communities explained the overall position regarding funding including some a growth bid being considered as part of the budget setting process for 2018/19 and the use of the adult social care precept introduced by the government.  The Panel asked for further information about of the adult social care budget, excluding the precept, and the proportion spent on mental health in the past three years.


At the conclusion of the discussion, the Panel noted the report and requested a further update in twelve months.  Members welcomed the positive work that was being done and thanked Officers and particularly the peer mentors for their contribution to the meeting.


Resolved –


(a)  That report be noted.


(b)  That the Panel receive a further update report in 12 months

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