Sheena's blog - a new year

by Sheena Cumiskey - 12 January 2017

This is my first blog of 2017, so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year.

I’d also like to extend a special thank you to the many people who worked so incredibly hard over the last few weeks. As we know, Christmas can be a time when many are at their most vulnerable, and your unwavering commitment to providing the best possible care will undoubtedly have made a positive difference to many lives. I’m sure your families are exceptionally proud.

This week, mental health has very much been a hot topic in the media, with Prime Minister Theresa May announcing new measures to provide greater mental health support nationally, particularly for children and young people.

We, of course, welcome any measures that will help drive forward the national commitment towards parity of esteem between mental health and physical health services. This was originally set out by the government in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and I’m pleased to see that actions are now being put in place.

I was particularly encouraged to hear that the Prime Minister’s strategy to transform attitudes to mental health at a national level aligned with many of the initiatives we are already running locally. For example, when it comes to strengthening links between young people, schools and NHS specialist staff, we have made great strides in our communities:

  • In Wirral, CWP has supported over 750 school children with mental health first aid training, and the Trust’s Primary Mental Health Worker team works closely with schools and community providers to support young people’s mental health needs through training and group work.
  • In West Cheshire, young people aged between 11 – 19 living or attending school/college in the area are able to contact the MyWellbeing Online Team – a team of professional clinicians - for online support, chat and guidance around their emotional health and well-being.
  • In East Cheshire, CWP has been working in partnership with Cheshire East Council, Just Drop In, The Children’s Society and Visyon to deliver the Emotionally Healthy Schools Project – an innovative collaboration aiming to help six local secondary schools promote positive emotional health and wellbeing to their pupils.

Once the dust settles politically and the headlines inevitably find a new focus, we’ll look forward with anticipation at how these announcements can reach us on the ground.

Like last year, 2017 will no doubt be over in the blink of an eye, and like last year, we know that we again have some difficult challenges to face. However, in 2016, we also achieved many fantastic things. I have total confidence that the passion and commitment of our wonderful staff, combined with the support and collaboration from partners and people who access our services, will make 2017 no different.

Best wishes,


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