Monica Lennon has raised the pertinent issue of bereavement support. Anyone who has been bereaved during the pandemic has had a bereavement like none that any of us has ever experienced, with access to the rituals and support that we would normally have being denied us. I send my sincere condolences to anyone who has been bereaved through Covid-19—as my family has, so I feel that I can say that with sincerity and empathy.
We have invested in the services that Cruse Bereavement Care can provide. I appreciate that it is currently difficult for people to access group sessions, which can be extremely powerful in supporting people. I hope that we will, as we progress through the pandemic, be able to look at more innovative ways of providing group therapy in the national health service and in third sector organisations.
I am delighted that we have so many emergency mental health centres up and running across the country. They provide a good service to people who are in mental health crises by giving them direct access to mental health professionals and directing them away from the less appropriate environment of accident and emergency departments in acute hospitals. I will certainly be working with health boards on how they plan to continue the services, and will encourage them to do so.
We will also look at all the innovative services that have been developed across mental health, of which there is quite a range. We will consider their value, the quality of care that they provide to patients, their outcomes and whether they are providing good-quality evidence-based services. We will encourage health boards to continue with those innovations.