More needs to be done to help people suffering from mental health issues get the support they need.
That was the conclusion of Thinking Together, an event held by Healthwatch West Berkshire that brought together people with a range of conditions, their carers and health professionals to discuss how to improve care provision.
It is the second time Thinking Together has been run, with the aim of getting users of mental health services involved in making changes to them.
The findings of the meeting will be discussed by the Health and Wellbeing Board so improvements can be put into place, such as creating a new mental health action group.
Andrew Sharp, chief officer of Healthwatch West Berkshire, said: “We truly hope that the success of Thinking Together can be carried into the new Health and Wellbeing Board mental health strategy.
“That will enable us to create a mental health action group with delegated powers and accountability that West Berkshire so badly needs.
“We want to create an environment where the premature death rate for people with mental health issues from physical illness can be reduced.”
Kathryn Dundas, co-ordinator for mental health charity Eight Bells, was also pleased with how the event went.
She said: “Thinking Together gave our members the opportunity to have their voices heard, to express both good and bad experiences they have had.”