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A New Approach to Mental Health Support: Living Well

CEO Tinh Phung
Living Well is revolutionizing mental health support by offering personalized and flexible services tailored to individual needs. Each Living Well site is uniquely designed to address local conditions, challenges, and opportunities, ensuring that every person...

Living Well is revolutionizing mental health support by offering personalized and flexible services tailored to individual needs. Each Living Well site is uniquely designed to address local conditions, challenges, and opportunities, ensuring that every person receives the support they require. In this article, we explore three Living Well locations - Tameside and Glossop, Salford, and Edinburgh - to showcase the positive impact this innovative model has had on people's lives.

Tameside and Glossop: A Holistic Approach to Mental Health Support

Tameside and Glossop Mental Health Open Door serves as the central hub for non-urgent mental health services in the Living Well network. Individuals can self-refer or be referred by their GP, healthcare workers, or charity partners. The Open Door team assesses patients and directs them to the Neighbourhood Mental Health Team, which provides support in various settings, including clinical environments, outdoors, and community venues.

Different pathways of support are available, including peer mentoring and mental health coaching from charities, therapies and assistance from mental health professionals in the NHS, and employment coaching from the council. Each individual is assigned a key worker who ensures they receive comprehensive and coordinated support throughout their 12-week journey. This streamlined approach has significantly reduced waiting times, with a median waiting time of just 14 days between referral and the initial conversation.

The impact on wellbeing has been remarkable. According to a survey involving 385 individuals, over half (58%) reported reliable and meaningful improvements in their recovery and quality of life. One participant expressed their gratitude, stating, "This service was the only one I truly relied on. I'd say it was vital to me."

Salford: Breaking Barriers to Mental Health Support

Living Well Salford offers flexible and comprehensive support for psychological and social issues without any time limitations. With funding from the NHS, local clinical commissioning groups, and primary care networks, Living Well Salford serves as the gateway to various forms of support.

From talking therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and loss counseling to crisis intervention and art therapy, Salford offers a wide range of clinical and therapeutic interventions. Additionally, about a third of participants have been referred to VCS-led interventions in the community to address underlying problems such as loneliness and inactivity.

Waiting times in Salford have also been reduced to 14 days, ensuring individuals receive timely support. Listening Lounges, physical spaces designed to provide a safe and supportive environment, have been established to offer immediate assistance to those in emotional distress. Early indications suggest that Living Well Salford is making a positive impact, with 55% of participants making statistically significant progress and 83% progressing towards at least one life goal.

Edinburgh: Empowering Individuals to Thrive

In Edinburgh, the Thrive Welcome Teams form the backbone of Living Well's support system. These self-referral, open-access teams aim to assist individuals who are on waiting lists or may not feel comfortable approaching their GP.

Upon entering the program, individuals receive a welcome pack and have an initial conversation to determine their needs. They are then matched with a dedicated support worker who guides them through the process. Together, they create a Thrive plan that outlines the necessary steps for recovery. Support workers provide ongoing assistance and connect clients with various resources, including wellbeing courses, peer support groups, walking groups, and psychiatry or psychological therapies.

The local evaluation of Living Well in Edinburgh revealed that people felt they were "recovering" and "able to live the life they wanted." Furthermore, 60% of the initial sample of 318 individuals completed their intervention successfully, achieved their goals, or were effectively connected to other support.

Living Well offers personalised support Living Well offers personalized support

Living Well is transforming mental health support by providing tailored services that prioritize the unique needs of individuals. Through its comprehensive and flexible approach, Living Well is empowering individuals to take control of their mental health and live fulfilling lives. With its proven success in Tameside and Glossop, Salford, and Edinburgh, Living Well is setting a new standard for mental health support worldwide.

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