Emotional Wellbeing Hub signposts clients to appropriate support services

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a new service which provides early intervention to ensure that those presenting with common mental health issues are quickly directed to the most appropriate support services.

The Emotional Wellbeing Hub reflects an improved model for service co-ordination which brings together GPs, Trust mental health services and Voluntary and community sector providers to deliver appropriate psychological care to people with common mental health problems. It puts prevention and early intervention at the heart of mental health and well-being and recognises that early intervention is vital in improving the life chances for those who present with emotional distress or social problems.

Petra Corr, Head of Psychological Therapies at the Northern Trust said:

“The use of prescription drugs for anxiety and depression is significantly higher in Northern Ireland than in elsewhere in the UK. Long-term medication is often the only option available to GPs to help patients cope with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

“While medication may have an important role to play it often does not address the root cause of the problem. The development of Emotional Wellbeing Hubs provides GPs with a new pathway for patients suffering from common mental health issues.

“GPs will refer patients with common mental health problems to the Hub where emotional well-being and mental health will be co-ordinated through the provision of an all-inclusive approach from a variety of partners offering a wide range of services to patients. These will include counselling; cognitive behavioural therapy; group therapy; facilitated self-help; signposting to other support services; and support to get linked back into their communities and social activities. Some people will be supported to access community and voluntary sector providers and others will be directed to Trust mental health services.”

The creation of Emotional Wellbeing Hubs is in line with NICE Guidelines 123 (Common Mental Health Disorders. Identification and pathways to care) which promote a Stepped-Care Model. The Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (Northern Ireland) also places an emphasis on resolving much psychological and emotional distress by the imaginative use of generic services, the voluntary sector and by community development approaches which provide support to people at times of need. It is also in keeping with Quality 2020 (A 10-Year Strategy to Protect and Improve Quality in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland) for delivering the right care at the right time in the right place.

4th December 2015

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