Improving Mental Health Support with Healthwatch

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2018)

Issues around mental health have been rightly in the news this year, and, as reported back in the summer, Healthwatch want to understand more about people’s experiences of mental health care and to inform mental health policy and practice to make the improvements in support that people say they would like to see.

Mental Care Issues

Healthwatch’s research has shown that the six common concerns that people have are:

  • People struggle to find information about what support is available.
  • Mental and physical health needs are treated in isolation.
  • People feel services don’t work well together to provide care.
  • Waiting times for diagnosis and then access to services are often too long.
  • Professionals don’t always understand people’s needs.
  • People are not involved in decisions that affect them.

What Healthwatch is Doing

Healthwatch is looking at the mental health support people want, from childhood to old age, examining how people from different sections of the community experience life with a mental health condition and finding solutions that really do address people’s broader needs.

The first area to be will explored is the mental health support available to new parents. As many as one in five pregnant women and new mums experience some form of mental health challenge. Partners can also be affected, with the National Childbirth Trust estimating that one in three new dads are concerned about their mental health.

How to Get Involved

Healthwatch has started a first research phase to better understand people’s experiences of maternity and mental health, surveying the public, local Healthwatch and stakeholders.

If you’re a member of the public
If you/and your partner are currently planning, are pregnant or have had a child in the last three years, please fill in our survey. Alternatively, help to share our survey online and encourage others to complete it.

Take the survey

If you’re an interested stakeholder
Share your views on maternity and mental health with us and help us gain a deeper insight into people’s experiences.

Take the survey

You can always contact us here at Healthwatch Torbay ,of course, by using our freephone – 08000 520 029 – or by popping into our offices in Paignton’s Library and Information Centre.

Bob Jope

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(Author)

Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!