First-of-its-kind mental health hub to offer new solutions

The first-ever mental health hub in Wales is set to offer new ways of helping young people who require urgent support.

Known as The 24/7 Crisis Hwb, which was unveiled last week, the new establishment is situated in Carmarthen by Hywel Dda University Health Board. The facility was made possible after a commitment in the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh government and Plaid Cymru was made.

a flag with a red dragon on it flying next to a blue building

Praised by the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, the children and young people’s sanctuary service offers bespoke mental health provision for individuals in the right environment when they need it most.

The hub was designed to prevent long waits for distressed children in A&E and will prevent the need for acute mental health wards to admit children for short assessments.

Research from Cardiff University in 2021 discovered that the share of people in Wales reporting severe mental health problems climbed from 11.7% pre-pandemic to 28.1% in April 2020. Young adults aged 16-24 experienced the largest deterioration, with their average indicator worsening by 24% relative to the pre-pandemic period.

As well as this hub being constructed, other centres are also being developed in the Betsi Cadwaladr University health Board area, the Swansea Bay University Health Board area and in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area. Funding investment in the projects to date is over £3m.

Commenting on the new mental health hub, Lynne Neagle, said: ‘This newly developed 27/4 bespoke service will provide a safe space for children and young people who are in need of crisis support for their mental health, and who would have otherwise found themselves in busy A&E or mental health wards.

‘This will be invaluable to those who need it most and who are at their most vulnerable. I am delighted young people were involved in the development of the centre.’

‘These services are part of our efforts to transform the way the NHS responds to urgent mental health issues,’ Lynne said. ‘This project has seamlessly linked with the recently launched ‘111 press 2’ helpline for urgent mental health support and the conveyance service provided in partnership with St John’s Ambulance.’

Plaid Cymru Designated member, Sian Gwenllian, also attended the launched of the new hub with Lynne and said: ‘Supporting young people facing a mental health crisis is essential so it is vital that we are expanding these important services. Having support on hand for a young person when they need it the most and in the right environment will help people when they can often be at their most vulnerable.’

This news has come as new research from the University of York regarding mental health has also been published. However, it is not so positive as the progress being made in Wales. 

Image: Chris Curry


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