After the success of the #seethefullpicture campaign which took place over June and July, the Fulfilling Lives National Communications Group would like to develop a second campaign.
The theme that has been proposed is accessing mental health services and support – and the WY-FI Network, through their involvement with the NECG (National Experts Citizens Group) have been asked to help with this by sharing their experiences.
The National Communications Group would like at least two NECG members from each Fulfilling Lives project to work more closely with them by attending meetings and informing decisions. However, they are keen to receive thoughts and feedback from a wider group of people too, so they’ve asked each Fulfilling Lives project to consider some questions around mental health.
Here at WY-FI, each of our mini networks were given these questions to discuss in their meetings. They are:
- If you could communicate one message about current mental health support available in your area what would it be? (This could be positive or negative)
- Who do you feel it is important to reach with this message?
- Do you feel that mental health support is improving or getting worse in local area?
- What would you say is the biggest barrier to accessing mental health support?
Overall, those who are involved in the Network have had experience of mental health services in their local area, either through personal experience or knowing somebody close to them needing to access services. For this reason, Network members were able to talk from experience about how mental health services have effected their lives and those around them.
Each mini network came up with similar themes. One of which was the lack of preventative work in their communities largely effecting many people’s mental health in the area. Many people commented that you often have to be in crisis before you can access the services and treatment you need, making people increasingly vulnerable.
Some localities identified the wider public as an important audience for recognising support for mental health in their local area. However, all localities recognised that it is people like service providers and commissioners that need to be reached with this message because they are the people that can make decisions on policy and how services are ran in each of the localities.
With all localities, recognising that mental health services are getting worse in their localities it is important that issues such as mental health are talked about and recognised. The experiences of Network members in each locality differed somewhat, as dual diagnosis was a problem for people in some areas, whereas it wasn’t an issue for people in other localities.
Opportunities for Network members to have their say in wider talks about mental health and influence the next national campaign are extremely useful for making sure everyone is talking about the stuff that matters for those who experience it. The questions answered by each of the Fulfilling Lives Project will be fed back to the NECG and help to influence the next campaign.