In a question to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Care today (09 June), Janet Finch-Saunders MS – the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – urged the devolved administration to review how mental health is treated in Wales, underlining her wish to see access improved by introducing a dedicated mental health worker at each GP practice.
Her question comes as Professor Adrian Edwards, Director of Wales’ Covid-19 Evidence Centre, warned that the mental health side effects of living with chronic conditions will become a big problem as Wales emerges from the pandemic. Later this week, the Member will be meeting virtually with representatives from RCGP Cymru to hear first-hand testimony from the frontline and to discuss how treatment pathways can be improved.
Speaking after her contribution, Janet said:
“As we are all too aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a climate in which people’s mental health has been hugely affected by economic pressures and isolation, as well as a lack of access to social networks and their usual outlets for physical activity.
“Combined, these pressures are driving an ever-greater need for support which is overwhelming access to specialised care. With experts warning that the mental health side effects of living with chronic conditions will become a major feature in our recovery, we must look to instigate change in the here and now.
“This is why I have urged the Welsh Government to review the steps and funding required to provide a dedicated mental health worker at each GP practice across Wales. I shall also be hosting a virtual meeting with the RCGP Cymru later this week to assess what more can be done to improve local mental health access.”
Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS