Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Our work focuses on community mental health services, prevention and early intervention and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) mental health

Contact our mental health engagement lead, Mike Rogers on tel no: 020 7095 5766 or email:mike.rogers@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk

Why mental health and emotional wellbeing?

Nationally, mental health services have not received the same level of investment and attention as those for physical health, even though one in four people will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives. Lambeth has high levels of socioeconomic deprivation, a risk factor linked to increased rates of mental health needs. We know that our existing health and care system faces multiple challenges in meeting the needs of our diverse population, and that access to and experience of using services differs among different groups.

Our focus areas

One strand of our work focuses on community mental health services where the majority of people receive care. Our second area explores how the borough is investing in prevention and early intervention. Lastly, we focus on understanding how to tackle the disproportionate number of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community members using acute mental health services.


Community based mental health services

Current NHS strategy is to increase and improve the provision of community based mental health services, where roughly 90% of people with mental health needs receive care and treatment.

To gain insight into how this community based system works from the point of view of service-users, we are conducting a series of Enter and View visits across a range of services including clinical, accommodation and employment support. We will look for themes and areas of interest from across the visits to inform our next steps.

Recognising that a lack of information can be a barrier to accessing services, we are interested in how readily available information about seeking local support for mental health concerns is.

Our previous work looking at mental health service awareness of residents in Vassall Ward suggests that current awareness is poor. We also learned that residents would look to their GP as a first point of contact for a mental health concern. In response to this, we have gathered service users’ experiences of going to their GP with a mental health concern, which includes a review of GP websites and waiting rooms.

Visit our peoples' experiences of seeking mental health support from their GP page for further information.

Read our Mental Health Enter and View reports and our report on finding mental health information and advice in the Vassall Ward.


Investing in prevention and early intervention

Early intervention initiatives help limit the development of mental health problems and help prevent existing difficulties from worsening. Our local NHS services have highlighted intervention and prevention as a key mental health strategy.

We are developing an area of work which focuses on children, young people and families and their engagement with early intervention initiatives. Working with a local school, our first project in 2017 will run workshops with young people to gather their views on what they know and would like to know about looking after their mental health, where they would go for emotional support and what would encourage them to seek help.

For more information on our Young People work visit the Young People page.


Mental health of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community

BME community members are disproportionately represented in intensive care and inpatient mental health services nationally. They are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act, more likely to be placed in seclusion when an inpatient and on average are admitted for longer periods. Pathways into care is an area of particular interest.

In 2017, we plan to gather the narrative accounts of BME males who have experienced acute or inpatient mental health care treatment. This project will explore service user experiences as well as look at personal stories of recovery. We are also involved in the development of Black Thrive - a partnership for black wellbeing


For more information on the Black Thrive visit the Black Thrive page.

Visit our Reports page

Visit our Reports page to read all our published Enter and View visits and other reports in full.
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