Access to mental health and well-being services in Sandwell during COVID-19 Pandemic

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Summary of report content

The objectives of the project were:

  • To understand how COVID – 19 has impacted on people’s mental health and what coping mechanisms they have utilised.
  • To ascertain which mental health and wellbeing services in Sandwell were accessed during COVID – 19 including how they were accessed and how effective they were.
  • To consider what the longer-term implications are for individuals and mental health services

There were 50 responses to the survey, 30 participants in the focus groups and 15 telephone interviews.

When asked if Covid-19 had affected their mental health, 60% of the respondents to the question said that their mental health had been affected. It was agreed by the respondents that there would likely be increased demand for mental health services as a result of the Pandemic.

Although accessing services digitally was welcomed and appreciated by most, for those who do not have access to digital support (apart from telephone), felt further isolated. Several factors were identified why people were not connecting digitally and included: digital poverty, a fear of using various devices and a fear about internet scams.

This report identified how COVID-19 has impacted on people’s mental health and wellbeing and that isolation, bereavement, unemployment, and uncertainty about the future have all affected people.

Access to mental health and wellbeing support organisations have either been postponed or altered to meet the restrictions of the Pandemic. While support was appreciated, it did not meet everyone’s needs.

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General details

Report title 
Access to mental health and well-being services in Sandwell during COVID-19 Pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sandwell
Date of publication 
Monday, 21 June, 2021
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Depression and anxiety service
Mental health crisis service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
1-15 years
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Non binary
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Does the information include public's views? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.