Time to talk about proposals for new mental health day services in Leeds

Users of mental health day centres run by the council in Leeds are being invited to a series of consultation events to give their views about proposals for a new service model.

The council’s executive board agreed to the transformation of mental health day services in February 2011 in order to make sure that people’s needs were being met effectively. It was proposed that there would be a move away from traditional building based services to more individualised support to help people get involved in social activities, access training or education, or get back to work.

At the time the proposals caused some anxiety to service users, and the council made the decision to take some extra time to carry out further detailed discussions with the people affected by the proposals.

The Mental Health Advisory Board was set up to work on new service proposals incorporating suggestions made by service users and staff.

Individual reviews with all service users then took place to find out what they valued most about the current service and how they would like it to look in the future, and these are reflected in the proposals to be presented at a series of events starting this week.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member for adult social care services in Leeds said:
“I hope that service users and staff feel reassured by the extra time that we have taken to really listen to the concerns that they raised when we started this process.

"The consultation presentations will give service users information about the new proposals plus the opportunity for them to comment, ask more questions and put forward ideas.

"I want to reassure people that there will be no change to the service they receive during the consultation period, which will determine how we move forward in a positive way on this very important issue."

Norman Forsyth, service user and co-chair of The Mental Health Advisory Board is keen to see greater service user involvement in decision making and is keen for mental health day services in Leeds to be innovative, forward thinking and vibrant; something people want to be part of. He said:
"After a shaky start, trust and confidence has grown between all parties. I believe that day services have a continuing role to play, but we need to be willing to look at alternatives for the future. It’s all about trust.”

The consultation runs from 11 September through to December 2012. For more information please visit the council website www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Improvements-to-mental-health-day-centre-services.aspx

Additional info
The Mental Health Advisory Board is made up of service user representatives, elected members, adult social care officers, health colleagues and people from the voluntary sector.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office
(0113) 395 1578 Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk