BNSSG Healthier Together

Joint Forward Plan

Mental health, learning disabilities and autism

Why it’s important

Mental health and wellbeing can affect everyday life for everyone, regardless of their age. We want people to have the best mental health and wellbeing in supportive, inclusive and thriving communities.

In addition to listening to our communities, we work closely with NHS England and have an active role in wider mental health networks. This has allowed us to benchmark and understand regional innovations and best practice, to improve local services.

What we can do

Core to our work in mental health is collaboration with people who have lived experience of mental ill-health, to learn how we can best support the needs of our local communities in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Their involvement in projects such as the Community Mental Health Framework has resulted in the recent creation of Mental Health & Integrated Network Teams (MINTs). These teams provide more accessible mental health and wellbeing support at primary care level.

We also understand the importance of recognising people with learning disabilities and autistic people, providing them with appropriate support for their needs. Whether they are children or adults, we want to ensure people are able to be assessed quickly, so personalised care can be implemented to support their education and daily lives.

Our six ambitions for our mental health strategy are:

  • Holistic care
  • Prevention and early help
  • Quality treatment
  • Sustainable services
  • Advancing equalities
  • Great place to work.


Video of Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership talking about the All Age Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.



How we’ll measure progress

  • Reduction in the waiting list for NHS Talking Therapies services by the start of 2025.
  • Deliver mental health and wellbeing teams (MINTs) across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire at locality level by the end of 2024.
  • Implement a digital self-referral process for eating disorders by the end of 2025.
  • Improve community service reach to diverse communities in BNSSG by the end of 2024, through investment in voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations such as Nilaari, Bristol Black Carers and Somali Resource Centre to improve culturally responsive support.

This page provides an overview. To read about our plans in detail, take a look at the full Joint Forward Plan 2024-2029.

Joint Forward Plan 2024-2029

Strategic Commitments

Align everything we do to the outcomes we want
Demonstrate our system-wide commitment to prevention
Focus on the first 1,001 days to give our children the best start
Change how we work to reduce health inequalities actively
Prioritise the health impacts of poverty and disadvantage
Build a workforce who are supported, skilled and healthy
Focus on the whole person – not just the disease
Work together as equal partners to tackle our biggest problems
Support the economy with our purchasing and employment practices
Develop a better, healthier environment for people to live in

Outcomes Framework

The healthy life expectancy of our population
The health and wellbeing of our population
The health of services
The health and wellbeing of our staff
The health and wellbeing of our communities
The health and wellbeing of our environment