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London’s Great Mental Health Day returns to get Londoners talking about their mental health

A graphic of a floral brain with the words Great Mental Health in London written across the top. Below is Great Mental Health Day and the website address for more information.

On Friday, 27 January 2023, London will host its second Great Mental Health Day to get Londoners talking about mental health, destigmatise asking for help and raise awareness of the great support available across the region.

What is Great Mental Health Day?

Great Mental Health Day 2023 is a London-wide initiative in its second year and will celebrate the power of community kindness, telling the story of how we’ve come together for one another across London.

The start of a new year is often a time for setting goals and seeing it as a chance for positive change or action. But for many of us, this time of year may feel challenging or lonely, particularly as increased cost-of-living pressures have an impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing.

How can you get involved?

Londoners can get involved by exploring the campaign’s interactive map on Thrive LDN’s website or using the hashtag #GreatMentalHealth to share their own stories, experiences and plans for the day across all social media platforms.

Across London, 100s of free events and initiatives are expected to take place to mark Great Mental Health Day 2023, from small groups to large-scale walk-in events in sports and community centres.

In north London a parent health event is being held at Tottenham Sports Centre and Warm Welcome spaces are welcoming residents across the Haringey borough. A similar Keep Well, Keep Warm day is planned at Willesden Sports Centre in north west London. In east London, Waltham Forest Town Hall will open its doors for an afternoon of wellbeing activities. In south west London, Whitton Community Centre in Twickenham will play host to dance, wellbeing and mindfulness sessions. Lambeth’s Health and Wellbeing Bus will be parked in Kennington, south east London, on Great Mental Health Day bringing information, advice and support into the heart of our communities.

Alongside local activities, Londoners can also join a selection of online webinars and workshops, from an introductory session on radical self-care to a Japanese flower-arranging workshop. There is also a webinar from Good Thinking, London’s digital wellbeing service, outlining three simple steps to help you support others.


Image showing Mayor of London logo

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m proud that this year’s Great Mental Health highlights the incredible ways that Londoners support one another. At a time when we’re facing huge challenges, from the cost of living crisis to our recovery from the pandemic, it’s inspiring to see Londoners gather together to remind us that no-one is alone. Such support is vital as we work to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”

Image showing NHS logo

Jane Clegg, Chief Nurse for the NHS in London, said: “We know January can be a particularly tough month for many, so Great Mental Health Day is a fantastic opportunity to tackle stigma around talking about mental health and take small steps to improving our mental wellbeing.

“And remember, if you are struggling to cope with day to day life, you are not alone and it is okay to ask for help. There are many free mental health services available across London that are here to support you, including NHS talking therapies. No one should suffer in silence.”

Image showing Transformation Partners in Health and Care logo

Sue Hunter, Transformation Partners in Health and Care Managing Director, said: “We know that it’s our communities, friends and families who play important roles in getting us through difficult times together. This Great Mental Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate being there for each other, supporting each other, and helping to destigmatise asking for help when you need it.

With events and initiatives across London and online designed to boost moods and improve resilience, I can’t wait to see how Londoners get involved using the hashtag #GreatMentalHealth.”

Image showing Thrive LDN logo

Dan Barrett, Thrive LDN Director, said: “We’re delighted to be facilitating Great Mental Health Day again across London. When times are tough, it’s important that we look after our own and each other’s wellbeing. Reaching out to someone we trust is one of the most important things we can do to keep mentally well.

“Great Mental Health Day is a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to come together and at the same time learn more about the great local initiatives and support services that are available, right across London.”

For more details about the day visit Thrive LDN’s website or search ‘Great Mental Health Day London’.


Partnerships

The Transformation Partners in Health and Care (TPHC) Partnership team carries on the work of what was, until December 2022, Healthy London Partnership (HLP).

Healthy London Partnership

Healthy London Partnership (HLP) was launched in 2015 as a response to the NHS Five Year Forward View (FYFV) and Better Health for London, with the ambition to ‘Make London the Healthiest Global City’. London leaders in health and care took the bold step to create a joint citywide transformation unit. One that could bring together a wide range of innovative partnerships to make progress on London’s specific population health challenges. London’s specific urban challenges and routes to solving them surfaced in Better Health for London which identified 10 shared ambitions for the city. The challenges demanded engagement with Londoners, collective action, pooling resources to achieve more, facilitation across organisation borders, wider city collaborations and some shared capacity to deliver.

HLP brought together expertise in clinical leadership, city-wide transformation and service improvement, strategic planning, communications, social movements, analytics and programme management.

Working as part of, and on behalf of, health and care partners, it was in a unique position to objectively understand all perspectives and draw together an integrated overview and provide system leadership in two main ways: 1) Developing and delivering transformation programmes when partners articulated a need for something to be done ‘once for London’ and 2) convening London-level conversations on system challenges and thereby enabling system leaders to articulate a collective response.

As part of TPHC, and working alongside the consulting team, the partnership team leads on a range of programmes and projects in partnership with London’s NHS, London Councils, the Mayor of London, plus other organisations and individuals to address the health and care challenges facing London now and in the future. These programmes and projects form part of the ‘Our work’ menu at the top of this page.


Consulting

Healthcare Consulting

The Transformation Partners in Health and Care consulting team was established as ‘Healthcare Consulting’ in 2012 as the first internal NHS consultancy. It had an ambition to help transform services and improve outcomes across health and social care in England. In December 2022 Healthcare Consulting came together with Healthy London Partnership to form a single team called Transformation Partners in Health and Care.

We offer leading consultancy across health and social care in London and at the national level. Our experience gives us a unique understanding of the needs of our partners and clients, along with the challenges they face.

  • As committed public sector professionals, we understand our client’s needs and share their mission of improving patient outcomes, and increasing access to safe and effective care, while demonstrating value for money.
  • We offer resources, expertise and knowledge across a range of disciplines including: programme/project management, data, digital and analytics, organisational development and communications and engagement.
  • We provide high-quality bespoke project delivery and advisory services to a wide range of organisations across health and social care.
  • We mobilise project and programme management support quickly, delivering results flexibly at scale and at pace.
  • We have an in-depth knowledge of the UK healthcare landscape and policy.
  • We work shoulder-to-shoulder across integrated care systems, integrated care partnerships, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, hospital trusts, mental and community health trusts, and regional and national NHS organisations.

Get in touch

To hear more about our work, or to find out how we can work together with you, email us at: rf-tr.tphc-communication@nhs.net.


Outcome measures (DIALOG and HoNOS)

Measuring outcomes provide a way for patients, clinicians and the health and care systems to understand the impact of the care provided. Outcome measures can be used to identify patient needs and understand the effectiveness of any care or treatment. They can also be used to measure health outcomes for a local population through ‘system process’ outcome measures.

In London, we are supporting the implementation of DIALOG as the London patient reported outcome measure (PROM) which is an assessment of health status and health-related quality of life that comes directly from the patient.

What is DIALOG?

DIALOG is a set of 11 questions where service users are asked to rate their satisfaction and needs for care across different parts of their life and treatment. It helps to guide a structured conversation between a health professional and service user that is patient centred with a focus on change.

Why does DIALOG exist?

DIALOG is simple to use and it enables proactive, personalised conversations at an individual level, supporting self-management and helping service users move forward with their journey of recovery. It has also been used to help inform the redesign of care planning processes within mental health services.

Capturing this information also gives a powerful indicator of patient satisfaction levels where health and social care services need to focus for improvement.

How to use DIALOG

Service users are asked by health professionals to complete this survey using pen and paper, or on a computer, iPAD or phone.

Who is DIALOG for?

This survey was initially rolled out for people within early intervention services and for those receiving a Care Programme Approach (CPA) package of care. The use of DIALOG can be extended to other mental health services including adolescents, older adults and primary care.

How often should DIALOG be used?

As a minimum, it is recommended that DIALOG is completed at the start of an episode of treatment, at review and at the end of an episode.

What is DIALOG+?

DIALOG is the tool and DIALOG+ is a specific intervention that uses the DIALOG scale and a 4- step approach based on solution-focused therapy.

DIALOG+ helps the person and the clinician to structure a conversation to explore their needs and wishes, support their care plan and help service users to actively problem-solve to support their recovery.

DIALOG resources


New Models of Community Mental Health programme

What is the New Models of Community Mental Health programme?

 The New Models of Community MH Programme is a London-wide programme that supports all of London’s Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to change the way that mental health services are delivered in the community so that it is more joined-up, uses whole-population approaches and supports care that is more personalised to a person’s mental health needs.

The programme has an overarching aim to support London ICSs to develop ‘robust models of community MH transformation’

Policy and background context

This programme of work has come from the Community MH Framework for Adults and Older Adults that was developed by NHS England that aims to support people with serious mental illness or complex MH conditions in the community. London Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are committed to transforming the way community MH services are delivered to ensure that people with complex MH needs are supported well in the community.

To find out more read the NHS Long Term Plan

Overview of governance structures

The London MH Transformation Board agreed to establish this programme in July 2020. This Board has oversight and accountability for the delivery of this work.

As part of this programme, we have established a Community of Practice (CoP) to bring together London’s mental health leaders across different sectors and organisations including mental health providers, commissioners, ICS transformation leads, voluntary care sector and people with lived experience.

We will use this network to share learning on approaches, challenges, different expertise and experiences across all London ICSs.

Programme workstreams

There are a number of workstreams based on key themes. Click on the tabs below to find out more information about our work.


New funding and support programme for London’s Social Prescribing Innovators

  • Healthy London Partnership is launching a new pilot programme to support London’s Social Prescribing Link Workers to improve the delivery of social prescribing services in primary care.
  • Successful applicants will receive up to £10,000 in grant funding and six months of dedicated support to tackle a challenge they face through the delivery of a specific social prescribing project.
  • Applications opened on 22 June 2022 and closed on 20 July 2022 – 12 projects across London have been successful and will make up the first cohort of SP Innovators.

Twelve projects from across London will make up the first cohort of Healthy London Partnership’s new Social Prescribing Innovators Programme, which was set up in the Summer to support SP services to tackle some of the biggest health inequalities challenges Londoners face.

The successful applicants, as judged by some of London’s most expert social prescribing professionals, academics, and clinicians, will be supported to deliver a specific project targeting a particular implementation issue, for six months from October 2022. This will include QI training, coaching and support, as well as up to £10,000 in grant funding for each project.

Dr Jagan John, Clinical Director for Personalised Care in London, and Chair of the North East London Clinical Commissioning Group says the programme will unleash powerful ideas from London’s vibrant social prescribing workforce to help overcome some of the implementation challenges of expanding delivery into London’s primary care networks.

“Social prescribing link workers, when based as part of the multi-disciplinary team in primary care networks, can really tackle the health inequalities many Londoners face. Yet time and again we hear how difficult it is to recruit and retain people with the right skills, set up hubs in the right locations, or link to appropriate services in communities outside the health service. This programme will give talented individuals and teams the opportunity to have the support they need to test out new ideas for making sure we can rollout social prescribing right across London, taking a holistic approach to even more people’s health and wellbeing while easing the pressure on the NHS.”

The results of the pilot programme will be shared in March next year. The innovative solutions developed by those who take part in the programme will be shared with all those interested in mainstreaming social prescribing across London’s primary care services and beyond.

To find out more, including a programme brochure and information about the projects teams, visit our Personalised Care project page.


FAQs, Resources and Stories

On this page, you’ll find more information about perinatal mental health services in London, with answers to key questions about the service.

Frequently asked questions

A wide range of mental health conditions can occur during this time, most commonly depression and anxiety. There are some conditions specific to this time in a woman’s life such as tokophobia – a severe fear of childbirth, and post-partum psychosis – a severe but treatable illness that occurs after having a baby.

It is not always possible to predict whether or not a woman is likely to experience perinatal mental health problems. However, some groups of women are at much higher risk, for example, 1 in 4 women with bipolar affective disorder experience post-partum psychosis.

It is vital that women receive treatment and support as early as possible. If left untreated, mental illness can have a significant and long-lasting impact on women and their families.

Getting appropriate treatment and support for perinatal mental health problems can help prevent avoidable suffering and isolation, strengthen families, ensure children have a healthy start and help prevent suicide – which is a leading cause of maternal death in the UK.

Here you will find a wide range of information and resources on perinatal mental health support available across London.

This toolkit offers best practice guidance about identifying and treating tokophobia. It draws on the current evidence and recommendations of a group of experts in the field.

We would like to thank all the many people who have contributed to this toolkit in order that it can reflect the voices of women with lived experience and the realities of working in Maternity and Mental Health Services. In particular, Rebecca Webb and Susan Ayers at City, University of London, conducted systematic reviews of the literature.

Download the Tokophobia toolkit

Across London there are a variety of practitioners from different backgrounds, services and organisations who have been trained as Perinatal Mental Health Champions. Their role is to increase awareness and knowledge of perinatal mental health by cascading the training onwards to local colleagues, helping to improve engagement and access to services for those affected by, or at risk of perinatal mental illness; and promoting local integrated perinatal mental health care pathways. The training programme is designed to:

  • Increase competence and confidence in perinatal mental health practice
  • Develop place-based leadership for perinatal mental health across complex systems of care
  • Raise awareness of the importance of perinatal mental health across the workforce

Resources

This toolkit provides guidance for health care professionals involved in planning the care of women at high risk of severe postnatal illness.

A pre-birth planning meeting is key to ensuring everyone has a clear understanding of the care the woman will receive in the weeks surrounding the birth of her baby, so everyone knows what to do and whom to contact if there are concerns.

Download the pre-birth planning toolkit

 

This toolkit is designed to offer advice to doctors and informs the multi-disciplinary team of best practice in providing preconception/family planning advice to women with a mental illness.

The document contains both information and resources and also recommendations that shift the clinical approach towards a collaborative model of care, using a strengths-based formulation.

Download the pre-conception toolkit

This document is to provide guidance for health care professionals involved in the care of babies born to women who have taken medication for mental disorders (psychotropic medication) during pregnancy.

Its aim is to optimise and standardise the care of exposed babies and to provide guidance to health professionals (in particular neonatologists, paediatricians and midwives) on the appropriate assessment and management of the risks and needs of the newborn baby.

Any psychotropic medication that has been taken by the mother during her pregnancy and / or delivery should be documented in the baby’s notes. Babies who have been exposed to such medication should undergo a relevant assessment as set out in this document. This assessment will take place in the hospital, birthing unit or home (if home birth). Information on this process should be given to mothers during their pregnancy and at the time of the post-birth assessment, so they can feel confident about their baby’s wellbeing.

Download the newborn assessment guidance

Stories

Chelsea’s story

Chelsea is mother of two young girls, a military wife, worked as Midwife for three years and now works as a Lived Experience Practitioner at Transformation Partners in Health and Care.

Shavarnah’s story

Shavarnah wanted to share her truths, the struggles she faced with her mental health as a young mum and how she created MumStyleLDN, which was her first step to healing.

Lynette’s story

Lynette shares her experiences, as both a member of the public and as a professional within maternity services. Her experiences extend across nearly thee decades.


Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in perinatal mental health

Having a baby can be joyful, exciting, and rewarding.  However, it is also common for pregnant women/birthing people and new mothers or fathers/partners to experience anxiety, depression, or emotional distress.

As many as one in five women/birthing people experience emotional difficulties during pregnancy and in the first year after their baby’s birth. This can happen to anyone.

Every London borough has an IAPT service which offers free, confidential talking therapy for people who have symptoms of anxiety or depression. IAPT stands for ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapy’. They give priority to pregnant women/birthing people and fathers/partners.  This leaflet explains more about the service and the help we can offer you if you need it. For more information click here to access the “Help and emotional support during pregnancy and the first year after having a baby” leaflet.

Support across London

Below you’ll find a list of services available across London.


Mother and baby units in London

Mother and baby units (MBUs) provide specialist care and treatment when a mother is suffering from a mental illness and needs an admission to hospital.

These services allow for the mother and her baby to remain together, supporting their attachment and bonding, while the mother receives the care and treatment she needs to recover from mental illness.

Contact details for London Mother and Baby Units

A range of family focussed interventions are on offer, with staff including psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, nursery nurses and occupational therapists. Women can be admitted from 30 weeks of pregnancy until the end of the first postnatal year.

There are three Mother and Baby Units that cater to the needs of all women and birthing people across London, regardless of where they live.


Community perinatal mental health teams

Community perinatal mental health teams support mothers who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems in the perinatal period to recover in the community. They also offer pre-conception advice to women with existing mental health problems who are planning a pregnancy.

They are staffed by a range of professionals and offer family-focused interventions, and work closely with maternity services, health visitors, IAPT, GPs, other community services and third sector organisations.

Support across London

Below you’ll find a list of services available across London.