Early Help Mental Health Consortium
We have held several meetings now of mental health providers and Commissioners across Northamptonshire to explore working together to develop an early help mental health pathway for children and families. Our goals are to develop a consortia that can lead on provision to meet a range of needs for families with a range of mental health issues from conception to age 18 focusing on an early intervention approach and to develop a county wide framework of delivery, partnership working and opportunities for new programme development.
This is a targeted consortia we are aiming to develop to identify a coherent offer of provision which is focused on parents with mental health problems from conception throughout childhood, to look at what new and innovative approaches can be developed as well as identifying high quality evidence based practice that can be rolled out across the County.
NorPIP has been keen to develop this with a view to developing a more coherent approach to supporting families with mental health issues affecting their ability to parent in particular and mitigating and reducing impact on child welfare and wellbeing, as well as creating opportunities to tackle the long term and entrenched mental health issues that prevail at a societal level across childhood. We realise we are just part of the solution for this age range, which is why we want to reach out to partners to develop a framework that can support children throughout their childhood and into adolescence.
We recognise that there are unified, unprecedented challenges facing our sector over the next three years. Significant cuts to public spending will increase pressure on mental health services as less money becomes available up front for early intervention & generalist support.
The consortia's draft aims, based on ideas that have already been proposed by various partners interested in becoming part of the consortia:
1) By working as a partnership we can harness large scale European funds for large scale projects and programmes, to secure grants for county wide approaches.
2) Negotiating and developing block contracts with Commissioners/Mutuals or Health Trusts to provide services and in addition opportunity to negotiate large scale ‘social prescription’ models.
3) Lobbying for increased statutory and non-statutory funding to significant gaps in services where there is unmet high need vulnerable children and families to access mental health services.
4) Identify ways of sharing resources and back office services across mental health providers.
Photos: From left to right, first early mental health consortium consultation meeting, group work breakout looking at opportunities for early mental health help in the perinatal period, group discussions around commissioning and Anna Day, NorPIP's Executive Director who has facilitated the meetings.