“Help is at Hand” – the value of Committee work in the Assembly
One aspect of the work of an Assembly Member that often goes unnoticed or largely unreported is the many hours spent in Assembly Committees undertaking inquiries, gathering evidence and scrutinising members of the Welsh Government. It can seem mundane but it often allows us, as backbench AMs, the opportunity for valuable insights and very detailed conversations that can help to improve a service, or prompt a response from Government.
Here is a very simple, but important, example. The Health, Social care and Sport Committee has been undertaking an Inquiry into suicide prevention. We had an evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary Vaughan Gething AM during which I was able to ask him about concerns expressed by some organisations about access to, and information on the “Help is at Hand” resource.
To be fair having heard our comments Vaughan ensured that there was follow up and we now know that the organisations we met during the Inquiry and Public Health Wales and the Senior Medical Officer are to meet and try and iron out this issue around communication and the sharing of available resources. if this small example of Committee work leads to one valuable intervention, or one more family supported, then it is time well spent.
“Help is at Hand” is a part of the support available to deal with suicide and self harm. Public Health Wales provide more information here including a link to helpful resources.
If you want to access more information on the official advice about suicide and self harm please see here: