Introduction, mental health concept and policy context
The requirement for an adult mental health needs assessment was identified as a part of the development of a new local Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy and commissioning plans. The key objectives are to understand how the mental health needs of Gloucestershire residents aged 18 years and over, current and future prevalence of mental wellbeing and mental illness and service provision in Gloucestershire align with each other and to highlight inequalities emerging from the lack of or inadequate alignment. Recommendations are made at the end of each section and then categorised at the end of the document (Chapter 11).
The sources of data include a wide range from nationally published indicators to locally collated data from service providers. However, there are limitations in drawing conclusions based on this data, due to their quality and gaps.
Mental health is more than just the absence of illness, and neither mental nor physical health can exist alone. The essence of mental wellbeing is the fulfilment of personal and social goals and contribution to the community. Mental illness can be defined as the presence of clinically specified symptoms or behaviours obstructing emotional, cognitive and social function.
There are many national and local policies covering all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. The local Gloucestershire Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy, Crisis Concordat Action Plan, Suicide Prevention Strategy and Sustainability & Transformation Plan are aligned with the objectives of the national strategies: No health without mental health, Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat programme, Preventing suicide in England and the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The main focus of these policies is to ensure that the effective prevention is in place and to improve the services and practices to make sure people get the help they need.