New scheme to help people in Scarborough receive expert care and advice on mental health illnesses

The First Contact Mental Health Practitioners act as initial points of contact for adults who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health illnesses.

The scheme is aimed at reducing the wait, or even need, to see a GP.

The new approach seeks to increase and speed up access to mental health support and to strengthen relationships across primary care, secondary care and voluntary and community sector colleagues, through the sharing of knowledge and enhanced understanding of mental health illnesses and the support available.

The experienced practitioners work as part of the primary care team and other services, supporting practices to assess people who contact them with mental health related illnesses, ensuring they receive proactive, effective, and timely care as well as additional signposting advice and information if needed.

The move is aligned to the North Yorkshire and York Community Mental Health Transformation Programme, which aims to develop and transform local community mental health support to give people greater choice and control over their care and support them to live well in their communities.

David Kerr, Community Mental Health Transformation Programme and Delivery Lead for North Yorkshire and York said: “These roles have strengthened local mental health provision supporting people to get the help they need closer to home and as quickly as possible.”

“We’re currently recruiting new First Contact Mental Health Practitioner roles for the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to expand this support to some of our most vulnerable and to focus on prevention. We look forward to sharing more details about this as it develops.”