Making sense of mental health

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bromley & Lewisham (HWBL) set out to speak to as many young people in the borough as possible in a bid to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing and the services that are available. The report also wanted to identify the gaps in mental health knowledge and gain a wider understanding and appreciation of the young people of Bromley’s attitude toward mental health. The report documents the findings that emerged of the activities from October 2015 to January 2016 through a series of one-hour long workshops, across 2 schools, one charity organisation (Bromley Young Carers) and one Youth Club (JusB). After each workshop the participants devised a short performance about something mental health related, followed by a discussion. Finally, the participants filled out an anonymous questionnaire. In total, 350 young people aged 10-17 took part. Through the responses gathered, the report identifies that prior to the workshop many of the young people were unaware of what mental health means with over 95% unaware that they could keep their mental health well. The report found some areas of success in the current system, mainly being the experience of the young people with school councillors. Out of the fifteen young people who used a school councillor most of them rated the experience between “excellent” to “good” with comments such as “They helped me build my confidence” and “she listens and understands me”. However, another young person commented about being very unhappy with the school service as "they went and told my mum everything." One area of focus was to raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing and discussing the “5 ways to wellbeing” framework. The report concludes that there was a lot of stigma surrounding mental health illness, however, after the workshops the participants walked away with a better understanding of what to do and where to seek support. The report presents recommendations made by the young people themselves about how services could improve: • Children should be educated at primary school age around what mental health is in order to stop stigma occurring. • All young people should be taught the ‘5 ways of wellbeing’. • Young people should have a choice on who they get support from. • School counsellors should be more readily available in schools. • Young people should be aware of what services are available for them, both locally and nationally, so that they have a choice on which to use. • The importance of youth clubs is recognised, as many young people use recreational activities as support.

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General details

Report title 
Making sense of mental health
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bromley
Healthwatch Lewisham
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 February, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 1 January, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Health promotion
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.