A PLEDGE to offer further support to people with mental health needs has been unveiled.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board's (BCUHB) new approach is based on the principles of its I CAN campaign, which aims to shift the focus of care to prevention and early intervention.

The health board intends to build on the introduction of I CAN Mental Health Urgent Care Centres, which support people in crisis who present at three emergency departments - Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

BCUHB plans to introduce a range of new support, including:

  • I CAN Community Hubs - bringing a range of organisations together to promote emotional health and wellbeing and provide emergency and crisis support to adults as a walk in service.
  • I CAN Primary Care - providing more mental health support in GP surgeries.
  • I CAN Mental Health Urgent Care Centres - supporting more people in crisis at Emergency Departments and on hospital wards.
  • I CAN plus - providing 24 hour, high level support and working closely with secondary care mental health services. This is the only new service for which a referral is required.

Lesley Singleton, BCUHB’s Director of Partnerships, said: "We are determined to shift the focus of care to early intervention and prevention, so people receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

"Once fully established, we expect that more people will receive the early support they need in the community, leading to reduced waiting times and improved outcomes for people who require the specialist support of our mental health services.

North Wales Chronicle:

I CAN Centre volunteers marking volunteers week

"This is an important element in the whole system transformation of mental health care across North Wales and it will require close working with our partner organisations, the third sector, and people with lived experience of mental health problems."

The health board said its blueprint for an integrated network of new community support, which can be accessed without referral or an appointment, is part of a “whole system transformation” in how mental health support is delivered.

The new approach is being led by BCUHB in partnership with local authorities, emergency services, mental health charities and people with experience of mental health problems as part of the wider transformation of mental health services outlined in the Together for Mental Health in North Wales strategy.

In order to implement the plans, funding from the Welsh Government’s A Healthier Wales Transformation Fund has been awarded.

Three teams covering Wrexham and Flintshire; Conwy and Denbighshire and Gwynedd & Anglesey are working to establish the I CAN support at a local level.

Anyone with an interest in getting involved can contact ican@wales.nhs.uk.