Adult mental health and mental health services

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch South Tyneside wanted to gain a clear picture of the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of adults in the area.  They undertook a survey to which 196 people responded.

 

Over two in five would not consider themselves to be someone who struggles with their mental health. Over a quarter had a formal diagnosis for a mental health problem (primarily Anxiety and/or Depression), and 28% disclosed that they sometimes struggle with their mental health.

Nearly three in five  rated their mental health and wellbeing as good (net score) in the 6 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the present time, 42% of respondents explained that they felt it was worse than before, but a similar percentage rated their mental health and wellbeing as about the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Since the start of the pandemic, 49% of respondents said they had had trouble sleeping, with 55% explaining that they had sought solace in food, either by comfort eating or restricting the amount they ate. A quarter of respondents admitted to drinking more alcohol.

In the last 6 months, over half of respondents said spending time with friends and family or exercise had supported their mental health and wellbeing. Over seven in ten of those who either struggle with their mental health or have been diagnosed with a mental health problem said they have used professional services such as a G.P. or counsellor to talk about their mental health and wellbeing in the past. Amongst those who hadn’t done this, barriers to seeking help were waiting list timings (29% of respondents said this) and discomfort at the thought of discussing topics of this nature with a professional (29%). 45% of respondents did, however, indicate that they didn’t perceive themselves to require this level of support and had not sought it as a result.

Where respondents disclosed that they had sought professional help in the past, they were asked if they had been supported by specific mental health services in the last 2 years. 41% said they had reached out to their G.P., with a further 33% having been supported by Lifecycle Service.

Overall, 39% of respondents who had accessed G.P. services to support their mental health and wellbeing rated their experience as excellent. Around a quarter of those who had accessed services prior to and during the pandemic felt the changes made to service delivery to adhere to Government guidelines had had a negative impact. 42% of respondents felt a reduction in the waiting times for appointments would improve the service provided.

50% of respondents who had accessed Lifecycle Service rated their experience as excellent. 11% of those who had accessed services prior to and during the pandemic felt changes made as a result had had a negative impact. 63% of respondents felt a reduction in the waiting times for appointments would improve the service provided and 29% felt the length of treatment should be reviewed.

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General details

Report title 
Adult mental health and mental health services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch South Tyneside
Date of publication 
Monday, 13 June, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 4 May, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 23 June, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
196
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Gender 
Female
Male
Ethnicity 
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Other ethnic group
White
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.