Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Our work focuses on community and secondary care services, prevention and early intervention and the mental health of the Black community

Contact our mental health engagement lead, Mike Rogers on tel no: 020 7095 5766 or email:

Why mental health and emotional wellbeing is a priority

Nationally, services to help people in emotional distress or with mental health needs 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 emotional distress and mental health needs. We know that mental health is stigmatised in some communities and that there are significant inequalities in how and when people from different communities receive help, access and experience services and therefore in the outcomes they achieve.

Our focus areas

We take a people centred rather than service centred approach. We want to discover an individual’s experience, outcome and their ‘journey’ through different support and services.

We use people’s experiences to influence services and ensure people get the right help, at the right time and in the right way. Services that will help people recover and stay emotionally well, provide support in a crisis and offer real choices that will enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

Our work focuses on:

  • working with Healthwatch Southwark and Lambeth and Southwark MIND on listening to people experiences of attending King’s College Hospital Emergency Department for a mental health crisis.
  • using our power to Enter and View to listen to the inpatient’s experience of the ward setting
  • how and where people access mental health information.

Listening to people’s experiences of inpatient wards

Our previous Enter and View work focussed on a range of community services including clinical, accommodation and employment. Some of the identified themes have informed our future work plan around community services.

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

This year we commenced a programme of Enter and View visits to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust inpatient wards. The visits focus on forensic services and acute wards. The visits give us an opportunity to find out what it is like for people staying on a mental health hospital ward. We talk to patients about how they arrived on the wards, their experiences whilst there, especially around feelings of safety, the use of restraint and seclusion and discharge planning


Wards visited:

  • Forensic wards: Effra (male) ward, Spring (female) ward, Bethlem Hospital
  • Acute wards:Lambeth Hospital.

To enable us to get a greater understanding of people’s experiences of forensic services we have visited an admissions ward and a discharge ward. We have also spoken to patients in forensic step-down beds at the Lambeth Hospital

Acessing mental health information

Recognising that a lack of clear and accessible 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 learnt 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 visiting their GP with a mental health concern, which includes a review of GP websites and waiting rooms.

We will be building on this work as part of gathering people’s experience of the redesigned community services.

Mental health of Lambeth's Black community

Members of Black communities are disproportionately represented in intensive care and inpatient mental health services locally. 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. Why and how a person ends up in mental health care is an area of particular interest.

We are working closely with Black Thrive, a partnership for Black wellbeing, to gather narrative accounts of members of black communities and their experiences in the community and of acute or inpatient mental health care treatment.

We are especially interested in how prevention and early intervention needs to work for them. This project will explore service user experiences as well as look at personal stories of recovery.

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.