Summary of report content
In February 2021, Healthwatch Cornwall ran a 3 week online campaign to raise awareness and engage the public in conversations about how people have been supporting their own mental health, and their experiences of mental health services.
They held a Facebook Live discussion in February 2021 linked in with the national Time to Talk Day.
The discussion involved a Q&A session with two mental health providers in Cornwall: Outlook South West and Sea Sanctuary. There were over 1,400 views and 150 comments during the live event. Examples of topics raised within comments included:
- A lack of provision for people who have experienced trauma;
- Outreach support for adults with Learning Disabilities;
- Access to mental health services for deaf / British Sign Language (BSL) users;
- Not all needs fitting within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) or Outlook South West pathways;
- Lack of awareness about mental health services available.
Alongside the campaign in February, Healthwatch Cornwall ran a survey asking people about the mental health support they have accessed in the past six months. 397 people took part in this survey.
- One in two people accessed support for their mental health in the last six months from a range of sources, including online information and advice, family and friends and NHS mental health services.
- Over 65s were less likely to ask for support and access mental health services. Young adults were at increased risk for anxiety and depression and more likely to access mental health services.
- Three quarters of people identified with ‘probable’ depression or anxiety had accessed some form of support.
- GPs play an important role in both providing mental health support and treatment, and as a gateway for referral to other services. There were mixed experiences of GPs, with some people feeling they got the support they needed, whereas for others the GP was a barrier to accessing further support.
Healthwatch Cornwall made nine recommendations in this report.