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Winchester MP Steve Brine dropped into the Winchester Wellbeing Centre (Monday 21st September) to discuss current and future mental health services in the city.

Following a pre-election meeting in Westminster, at which Mr Brine agreed to support our ‘Mind Manifesto’, he met up with us locally.

The service is commissioned by Hampshire County Council to provide wellbeing services, which include peer support, one to one appointments and numerous group sessions, from our Parchment Street base.

The MP, who met with Elizabeth White Ripley, Head of Wellbeing in Winchester, as well as our Chief Executive Richard Barritt, said he was keen to learn about the current services Solent Mind provide and how recent Government investment in mental health is impacting on the ground.  They also discussed the recently signed Mental Health Care Crisis Concordat which is an agreement between services involved in the care and support of people in crisis.

Elizabeth White Ripley said; “We were delighted to welcome Steve to Winchester Wellbeing Centre and show him how we’re supporting people with mental health problems.  Through discussing our support programmes and the skills and techniques people learn through coming to us, Steve got a real flavour of the vital work we do improving mental health in the community.”

Steve Brine added; “At the Department of Health we are resolutely focused on making good our commitments in mental health policy and funding.  For the first time mental health has parity with physical disorders and we have the first ever waiting times to guarantee treatment.  The recent announcement of a £143m investment improving children and young peoples’ mental health services this year is really welcome and is part of a £1.25bn package announced in the Spring Budget by George Osborne.  I am especially pleased to see additional investment in tackling eating disorders.

“Solent Mind are widely seen as one of the most effective providers in the country so it was good to meet the team and see how well Hampshire County Council is investing rate-payers money through its services as well to discuss the Care Crisis Concordat locally.”

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