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Update on Community Mental Health Transformation in Middlesbrough

By Emma Howitt, Chief Executive Officer at Teesside Mind

A group of 9 local VCOs are continuing to work with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Mental Health Trust (TEWV) to improve the quality and availability of mental health support in our communities. This is part of a national NHS transformation programme.

We're 18 months into the programme and 9 months into delivery. On a day-to-day basis, making changes to the way organisations work together can feel quite slow; but when we look back over the 18 months, we know it's progressing really successfully.  

Our main activities so far have included:

  • Providing a small additional resource to each voluntary sector partner to increase capacity and adapt their activities to work with more people experiencing mental health issues; we aim to have supported an additional 200 people with more severe mental health issues by the end of April.
  • Working with TEWV, Adult Social Care, drug and alcohol services, Changing Futures and Impact on Teesside to provide joined-up support for people who need help from more than one organisation. We have fortnightly multi-agency meetings to help make this happen. 
  • Providing shared training and learning activities for frontline staff that build relationships as well as skills and knowledge. We have organised training over 20 training sessions on issues such as supporting people with suicidal thoughts and awareness of asylum seeker/refugee circumstances.  
  • Working with people with lived experience of mental health issues and using services to help shape and improve what we offer. People with lived experience have formed a co-production group with us. 

We produce an e-newsletter - sign up by emailing sarahjaneashcroft@teessidemind.org.uk 

The work is feedback to Middlesbrough Mental Health Partnership, so you can join the partnership to keep up to date. Sign up here.  https://forms.office.com/e/Hsy1RGHk1i

Voluntary sector partners are Teesside Mind, Arch Teesside, My Sister's Place, Open Door North East, Recovery Connections, Hope Foundation, Breckonhill Community Centre, MVDA and Youth Focus North East.