The Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento today launched the Gibraltar National Mental Health Strategy 2021-2026.

'The primary goal of this 5-year mental health strategy is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the population of Gibraltar. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive integrated mental health system that promotes self-care, recovery and reduces stigma.'

In November 2020 the GHA published a Mental Health Situational Analysis report which was commissioned from Public Health England. The report highlighted excellent progress to date with improvements to the physical environment, the Mental Health Act reforms, and front-line response of our mental health services in Gibraltar and suggested several areas for further improvement.

The strategy has been developed through a comprehensive and multi-agency stakeholder, patient and public engagement process with the overarching aim being to strengthen the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) and Care Agency system of Mental Health Services. There is an emphasis on mental health promotion, ill health prevention, treatment, care and recovery with due attention to the principles of equity, human rights, evidence, and user empowerment.

This strategy has 4 overarching strategic priorities which are in alignment with the World Health Organisation Global Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030:

• Leadership and governance

• Information systems, evidence, and research

• Community based mental health services

• Health promotion and prevention

The strategy includes timelines for implementation of the key milestones. The initial focus will be to put the patient first, through patient-centered care in which they are empowered and involved in their care plan, as well as promoting self-care in the community. The first two years will also focus on improving integration within the Gibraltar Health Authority mental health system and increasing collaboration with the Care Agency to avoid duplication and ensure coordinated care for the patient. Finally, the strategy will focus on improved collaboration with the wider mental health system, whilst recognising that all areas will continue to be working on improving mental health and wellbeing in our population.

 Minster for Health and Care, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: ‘I am very proud of the hard work being done by our mental health services. Significantly, this strategy has been developed during a global pandemic and takes into account the mental health impact of COVID-19 in both the immediate and long term. This detailed strategy gives us a clear way forward in improving and meeting the mental health needs of our population. I am confident and firmly committed to delivering the objectives of this strategy.