A total of £2million has been allocated to community mental health services in Northumberland over the next three years.
The national funding from NHS England/Improvement is to support more ‘joined up’ mental health care across organisations, including hospitals, community organisations, GP practices and charity and voluntary organisations, improving access to care closer to home.
As a result, people with serious mental illness can access mental health services and support through more holistic and tailored care depending on their need.
Over the next three years, funding will be invested in transforming care for specific mental health conditions.
Among those, a community adult eating disorder service will be developed across Northumberland to respond to a range of eating disorders at an earlier stage.
Patients who have complex emotional needs, and who may have suffered trauma, will receive support from staff who work closely with their GPs and other healthcare partners to provide greater emotional support.
Kate O’Brien, senior head of commissioning, child health, learning disabilities and mental health, for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is such a welcome and needed programme of work and I am extremely proud to be involved in it.
"We know it is going to improve the support and care for those that need mental health care across Northumberland.
"And after the last year and a half, this has never been more important.
"People have been through a very difficult period and I’m sure many are dealing with some very tough personal challenges and circumstances.
“Working in partnership across the wide range of organisations that provide mental health care and support is absolutely crucial to improve access and for this transformation to be a success and I know all involved are committed to improving the mental wellbeing of those that live in Northumberland.
"The integrated working across organisations will ensure that there is ‘no wrong door’ to access services and individuals should only need to tell their story once.”
GP practices, hospital mental health services and the voluntary sector across Northumberland will also work together to encourage the uptake of physical health checks for those with serious mental illness.
John Lawlor, Chief Executive at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this vital work, which will have a significant impact on the care the people in Northumberland receive.
"There is no doubt we have all gone through a difficult period and our need to provide appropriate and effective services for those who need them is more important than ever.
"Working in partnership with other organisations will ensure we have a joined-up approach, with a shared aim of improving the access and support for people with serious mental illness.”
Julia Perry, Head of Community and Wellbeing Services, at Mental Health Concern, said: "This is a really exciting programme that will make it easier for local people to find the mental health support they need."
Sonia McGough, Director of Quality and Operations at Mental Health Matters, added: “We are excited to be a part of this collaborative transformation work and to use our experience from supporting the community over the last six years to make a positive difference to the lives of people experiencing mental illness.”