New Mental Health & Substance Misuse Strategy to Make a ‘Positive Difference’ in Wrexham

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New Mental Health & Substance Misuse Strategy to Make a ‘Positive Difference’ in Wrexham

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A new strategy aimed at improving services for people affected by mental health and substance misuse issues has been launched thanks to the help of Wrexham residents.

Caniad, a north Wales-wide service, was commissioned by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and North Wales Area Planning Board to be the combined voice for mental health and substance misuse involvement across the region.

Its main focus is to involve people who use the services in the planning, design and delivery of future provision. Two co-ordinators for the service are now based in Wrexham town centre.

A series of engagement events with service users and carers have taken place across the region – with the feedback received contributing to the development of the local Health Board’s North Wales Mental Health Strategy.

The strategy was launched earlier this month and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, recently visited Champions’ House in the town to discuss its implications with Caniad’s service manager, Denise Charles.
Local AM Ms Griffiths also spoke with service users and staff at CAIS, a charity based at Champions’ House which provide personal support services to people having problems with addiction, mental health, personal development and employment.

After her visit, Ms Griffiths said: “Many people will be aware this subject has generated a lot of publicity locally in recent month but it is important to highlight the excellent work being undertaken by organisations such as CAIS and Caniad.

“A co-ordinated and collaborative approach to tackling the issues is key and it was good to hear from the team at Champions’ House how vital work is being undertaken involving the police, health board, local authority, relevant agencies and service users.

“Caniad and CAIS are engaging with service users in Wrexham and across North Wales, people who are vulnerable and often underrepresented. Their close relationship with the local Health Board is positive, placing strong emphasis on the fact this is predominantly a health issue rather than criminal.”

Ms Griffiths added: “Although challenges remain, great steps have been taken. As well as the health board’s new strategy, Welsh Government policies are in place and it is vital the measures are implemented. I will continue to work with local organisations and make representations to the Welsh Government on their behalf.”

Earlier this month Caniad was one of several service providers to attend a meeting at the local Salvation Army to help tackle substance misuse in the Wrexham area.