During Mental Health Awareness Week, Julian Tyson, Partner in Coodes Solicitors’ Mental Health and Community Care team welcomes the prospect of more mental health support in Cornwall.
Work has now begun to build a new mental health unit for children and adolescents in Cornwall. The facility, which will be located in Bodmin, is the result of years of campaigning from local charity the Invictus Trust and others. Due to open in April 2019, the Sowenna Centre will, for the first time, give under 18s access to beds in a specialist mental health service in Cornwall.
We have also recently seen the opening of Cove Ward in Redruth, which provides psychiatric rehabilitation for people with a long term mental illness alongside the existing rehabilitation unit in Bodmin.
The prospect of having more specialist mental health provision in Cornwall’s hospitals is great news.
It will make a big difference to the people I support. Over the years, my work with families who need support with mental health issues has shown time and time again the lack of provision in Cornwall. Sadly, many young people have been transferred hundreds of miles for treatment. This not only makes it very difficult for families to spend time together while someone is receiving treatment, it also makes their transfer back into the community much harder.
When someone is being treated for mental illness, the ultimate aim is always to help them get back into the community. That means they need a really good support structure with people who they can build a trust with, as they start on their journey to recovery. Having the right support in place can significantly reduce the risk of people having to go back into hospital for treatment.
This new support is being established in Cornwall as our awareness and understanding of mental health continues to improve. Mental illness is being destigmatised so it is no longer a marginalised issue. It is becoming more palatable for people to share their experiences. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the latest celebrity to open up publicly about having experienced mental health problems. A recent visit to the cinema included an advertisement about the elephant in the room referring to one man’s reluctance to talk about a mental health issue. This increased openness is incredibly helpful as mental illness can affect anyone, but it is a hidden condition and has been stigmatised in the past.
With more of us opening up and talking about mental health problems, more people are also seeking help when they need it. I am now pleased that more people will now be able to access the help they need, close to home in Cornwall.