A NEW mental health strategy has been released, outlining key priorities for the Borders.

Published by the Health and Social Care Partnership, it provides a framework for the delivery of mental health activities in the Borders.

The document is for all age groups and has been developed in line with national strategies and the Partnership’s Strategic Plan 2016-19.

Reducing avoidable admissions to hospital and improving support for carers have been listed among several of the key priorities.

The scheme will also focus on providing person-centred, effective recovery, with focused care close to home, aims to deliver services within an integrated care model, giving people more choice and control over their care.

The strategy was developed with a range of stakeholders including service users, carers, community members and professionals working across the statutory and third sectors. 

A series of consultation events was held over the last year to give people the chance to contribute.

Dr Stephen Mather, chairnman of the Integration Joint Board said: “There is evidence to suggest that there are potentially 19,800 adults and 1,898 children and young people in the Borders who will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives. 

“Depression and anxiety are the most common but others include eating disorders, personality disorders and schizophrenia. 

“These figures are only an estimate based on the numbers of people known to services; the reality may be much higher as many people do not seek assistance.

“This strategy sets out what the response will be here in the Borders in terms of providing the support that people experiencing mental ill health need. 

“I welcome its publication and the commitment that it represents in terms of making sure that there is a range of services available, not just for service users themselves but also for the carers who play such a vital role in supporting them.”

An implementation plan is now being developed to ensure that the objectives identified in the strategy will be delivered. 

This will be overseen by the Mental Health Board, made up of representatives from Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders, the third sector, plus service users and carers. 

The strategy can be viewed online at www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk/MHStrategy17