Health board opens first mental health crisis hub for young people in Wales
Hywel Dda University Health Board has opened the first mental health crisis hub for young people in Wales.
The 24/7 Crisis Hwb facility has been established in Carmarthen, thanks to a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
The Children and Young People’s Sanctuary service offers bespoke mental health provision for children and young people when they need it most.
The new hub will prevent long waits for distressed children in A&E and will also mean that they will no longer be admitted to acute mental health wards for short assessments.
Other centres are also being developed in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
Funding investment in the projects to date is £3.18 million.
Welcoming the opening of the unit, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle said: “This newly developed 24/7 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, and 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.
“They will also help relieve pressure on our emergency services.”
Plaid Cymru Designated Member Sian Gwenllian 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 provides an exemplar model for better joined-up crisis support, and it’s very encouraging that even within a short timescale we are already delivering on the commitment to open crucial centres such as this as part of the Co-operation Agreement. I look forward to seeing best practice spread across Wales.”
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “We are incredibly proud of this innovative development that is a first for Wales.
“This pioneering Hwb is a new service that will provide a round-the-clock bespoke facility as an alternative to hospital admission. It offers a safe space for children and young people who are in crisis and would otherwise end up in either urgent and emergency care or a mental health ward.
“Congratulations to all the teams who have worked so hard in developing this facility, which will make a great difference to the health and well-being of children and young people in the Hywel Dda area.”
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