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Bates gains Minister's support for assessment of innovative mental health project for Powys

July 1, 2009 2:26 PM

Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has gained support from the Minister for Health Edwina Hart for an assessment of the Gofal Cymru Community Crisis House project, currently piloted in Cardiff, to determine whether the model could be adapted for rural areas, so that rural and urban Wales can benefit from the holistic and innovative approach to mental health support provided by the scheme.

Commenting Welsh Lib Dem Mick stated:

"Gofal Cymru's Community Crisis House is a pioneering project that offers a community-based alternative to psychiatric hospital admission and I was pleased to give my support for this initiative under the National Lottery Good Causes Awards.

"This excellent project offers support in a homely and supportive environment, to help people with mental health problems through a difficult time in their lives without the need to enter hospital, yet is only currently available in Cardiff.

"In rural areas such as Powys it is often a challenge to provide out of hours care, so it is important that we seek to roll out excellent models such as the Gofal Cymru Community Crisis House which can improve the level of service offered in rural communities.

"I am pleased that the Minister Edwina Hart has committed to an assessment of the Community Crisis House model, to determine whether it could be adapted to suit rural as well as urban areas. I hope it can then be considered for inclusion under the new National Service Framework for Wales, so that rural Wales does not miss out on this innovative service, which could offer a new approach to mental health support in Powys."

Ewan Hilton, Executive Director of Gofal Cymru, said:

"Whilst we are hugely pleased with all that the Cardiff Crisis House has achieved, and the very real difference that it makes to people's lives, we are increasingly concerned that three years after the project was opened it remains the only Crisis House in Wales.

"It is a model that could easily be adapted to suit more rural areas where, given the distance people live from in-patient facilities, the ability of a Crisis House to offer support within the community would perhaps be even more valued."