The Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society is reiterating its call for the results of the audit on current mental health provision in Gibraltar, to be published. In February of this year an audit was carried out by the Mental Team of Public Health England. Many stakeholders were asked to contribute to this audit, including the GMWS. Unfortunately, to date, we have had no feedback on the findings. We consider it crucial for the report to be made public so that we know exactly what the strengths and pitfalls of present provision are, and for appropriate measures to be taken where necessary. Unfortunately, a failure to publish the results of this kind of audit leads people to assume that the findings are overwhelmingly negative, even if this is not the case. Ultimately, the public has a right to know what the objective assessment of the current situation is and should then be able to expect the situation to be redressed by the powers that be.
Although there have been significant steps taken to improve the service in the last few years, it is still a fact that many people feel they are being failed by the system. The GMWS is being approached by an increasing number of individuals who don´t know who to turn to when they feel they are not getting the help they need. Although there are many professionals providing good care and support within the mental health service, it is clear that there are too many service users who are still falling between the cracks
Given the sort of recurring problems that are brought to our attention, the GMWS feels that a person-centred approach would be the most useful way forward when it comes to mental health provision. It would ensure the best use of resources and provide the co-ordinated, holistic and flexible provision that is presently lacking. Ideally, however, we need to see what the audit recommendations are for improving the system and ensure that we achieve these objectives.
It is an unfortunate fact that mental health provision-worldwide- has lagged way behind physical health care. The same has been the case in Gibraltar. It is time that this situation was redressed, once and for all. Publishing the results of the mental health audit and acting on it is the first step that needs to be taken.