Our strategy 2023/24
This one-year strategy is the next step in achieving our vision of a future free from harm caused by alcohol, drug and mental health issues.
Building on our progress
WithYou launched its last strategy (2019 - 2023) to deliver transformational change to enable better outcomes for our clients. Much of this has been achieved, with a 28% increase in income enabling enhanced investment and support in our services across Scotland and England.
This one-year strategy has been shaped to continue this work. It also sets us up to develop and deliver a longer term strategy from 2024. By applying what is happening in the world and the opportunities brought by new drug, alcohol and mental health strategies, we will deliver services that revolutionise client support and improve outcomes. We will fight stigma and deliver services to be proud of. We will work as a collaborative partner who is committed to making a difference locally, while working to make an impact nationally.
The current landscape
- COVID and the cost of living crisis have exacerbated drug, alcohol and mental health issues across England and Scotland. In England there was a 20% increase in alcohol related deaths in 2021 and Scotland has recorded its highest ever drug-related deaths.
- Over ten years of austerity in the sector have led to funding reductions of circa 25% from £1bn to £750m per year. Funding is starting to increase following the Dame Carol Black independent review of drugs, but has not yet been confirmed beyond 2023/24.
- There have been significant increases in people needing to access mental health support services. The Government has announced £2.3billion of additional mental health funding by March 2023 to expand and transform mental health NHS services.
- A recommendation from the drug strategy is to focus more on trauma-informed service delivery and stronger partnership working with the NHS, Police, Housing Services and specialist organisations to share the specialist skills of our staff. WithYou are experts on drug, alcohol and mental health treatment, support and trauma-informed-care.
- Stigma about drug and alcohol issues alongside poor mental health continues to be significant. Communities of people who need support, including women and LGBTQ+ people aren’t accessing support at the level they should or could be - we would like to change this.
Who we are - our purpose, mission and vision
To enable people to overcome drug, alcohol and mental health challenges and reclaim wellbeing.
To be there for adults and young people experiencing challenges with drugs, alcohol and their mental health by providing free, timely and confidential support.
To work with people on their unique recovery path, whether it’s staying safe and healthy, making small changes or stopping a harmful habit altogether.
To end the stigma associated with poor mental health and drug and alcohol use so that everyone feels able to reach out for help.
A future free from harm, suffering or deaths caused by poor mental health, drug and alcohol use, where anyone seeking help feels welcomed, not judged.
What we do
We provide a free and confidential service without judgement
to more than
people a year
We use our expertise to improve the help available and raise awareness around drugs, alcohol and mental health so that more people can get support.
Our one year goals and deliverables
Radically improve (more) people’s chances of getting better
- Develop a clear recovery pathway for all clients
- Grow the number of services we deliver in line with our business development strategy
- Improve our impact by understanding our outcomes through data measurement and systems
- Grow awareness of and engagement with our services by potential clients and referral partners
- Improve our performance through learning and understanding - through formal feedback approaches and service-auditing processes
- Listen and learn from our clients to build a better understanding of what works for them
- Work to resolve the competing issues of quality, quantity and cost when delivering excellent services for clients
- Look after our staff to enable them to improve our client recovery journey
Reduce inequalities in treatment and recovery for marginalised people
- Improve access to treatment including by reducing stigma and normalising drug, alcohol and mental health support in society
- Listen to and learn from our clients
- Understand the barriers to treatment for underrepresented groups
- Develop targeted support for underrepresented groups
- Be the organisation others want to work with - through partnerships, recruitment and collaboration
Grow an agile, sustainable organisation that invests in its people and services
- Develop a framework to deliver consistently better client outcomes through services, working flexibly to meet local needs
- Build our financial strength and stability
- Invest in colleagues learning and development to directly and indirectly improve client outcomes
- Develop and sustain processes that allow the organisation to continually innovate and improve its outcomes
- Value and develop expert leadership at all levels of the organisation
- Be an excellent place to work and an attractive organisation to join, that provides a positive employee experience and culture
Beyond this strategy
As the UK and Scottish government continue to embed a renewed focus on drug, alcohol and mental health support, WithYou will be at the centre of the shift the sector needs to support many more people.
WithYou has a new CEO joining in January 2024 who, when in post, will work with the organisation to build longer-term strategic goals and planning for our future.
This one-year strategy is the next step in achieving our vision to a future free from harm caused by alcohol, drug and mental health issues. While delivering this strategy we will talk further with our clients, colleagues and commissioners to understand what is needed and drive positive, lasting change.