Key work highlighted to tackle mental health problems in Hartlepool

editorial image

Health bosses have stated it is positive news to see a ‘huge rise’ in the number of people seeking mental health support.

Hartlepool Borough Council audit and governance committee has been investigating the provision of preventative mental health services for residents in the borough in a year-long study.

The latest section was looking at working age services and health bosses provided an update on work in the area.

They noted a large increase in people reaching out for health for mental health services and also noted Hartlepool has seen a drop in suicides.

Jane King, head of service at Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust said: “Suicide prevention is very much a community profile we need to raise, it can’t just be health services.

“We do know we have a high rate in the Teesside area, but it’s been showing in Hartlepool we do have a decline in suicide rates since 2015.

“Obviously suicide affects all age groups, if someone does take their own life it’s the impact on families that we need to be able support.

“Within the last year and certainly the last few months, we’ve seen a 100% increase both in liaison and crisis services.

“We have huge numbers coming through the door and the fact that we are able to see people with the resources we’ve got in the time scale is good, it’s very positive.”

Programmes being developed to help people with mental health problems include assisting them to get employment, using technology to keep them connected and providing help services 24/7.

It came as Hartlepool Borough Council officers also offered feedback from the ‘Mental Health- Working Together for Change’ event in December 2018.

Officers praised some of the findings of the event, which involved 16 organisations, with several areas highlighted for improvements going forward.

Coun Stephen Thomas, Healthwatch Hartlepool representative, said: “One of the things that came through very clearly was that the issue of stigma is still out there.

“I think for a lot of people when they make the first approach for support are already quite a way down the path of experiencing the condition.

“That pathway into effective service is not always as seamless and timely as it could be.

“It’s really great to see the different partners involved recognising the issues that need to be addressed to make that pathway more seamless.

“One of the areas which is very important in Hartlepool is the support the carers themselves receive to maintain their own mental health.

“Hartlepool gets a tremendous service from carers and they are often under tremendous pressure and it’s fundamentally important we continue supporting them as best we can.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service