Why mental health and emotional wellbeing is a priority
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:
- Giving Lambeth residents the opportunity to have their say in the Living Well Alliance's work to change mental health services in Lambeth.
- using our power to Enter and View to listen to inpatients' experiences
- how and where people access mental health information
- Supporting Black Thrive to address mental health inequalities faced by Lambeth's Black community
1. The Living Well Alliance
From July 2018, Lambeth’s community ‘front door’, specialist and crisis services are changing with the aim of improving local people’s experience and outcomes. Most people with mental health needs receive treatment and support in the community.
The Living Well Network Alliance contract will run for 7-10 years and its important that the voices of people with lived experience are used to help shape these services.
Its service plans include:
- ‘Front Door’ services open to everyone in Lambeth experiencing emotional distress or mental health needs, their family and supporters
- ‘Living well centres’, for everyone who needs more specialist help to recover, stay well and stay safe
- ‘Urgent care’, open to everyone who needs urgent mental health support within 4 hours.
2. 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. In 2016 we ran a programme of visits to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust inpatient wards. The visits focus on forensic services and acute wards.
3. Accessing 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, and looked into people's experience of getting mental health information from their GP.
4. Mental health of Lambeth's Black Community
Lambeth continues to be a borough that is faced with growing socio-economic inequality which disproportionately affects and impacts Black African and Caribbean people. These inequalities affect the mental health and wellbeing of those who are impacted by them.
We are working in partnership with Black Thrive, to take take a holistic approach to addressing the causes of mental ill health by looking at factors such as access to housing, education, employment and so on.
For more information on Black Thrive visit: