Summary of report content
Between November 2019 and September 2020, Oxford Community Action, along with community volunteers, worked collaboratively with Healthwatch Oxfordshire to understand what Oxford’s new and emerging communities think about wellbeing.
Previous joint work had highlighted that mental health and wellbeing was a concern.
They ran three focus groups and designed a questionnaire to reach out to Oxford’s new and emerging communities. 152 people responded to the questionnaire. Respondents represented the diverse and multi-ethnic communities in Oxford.
Of 120 responses, 87% said they would turn for support to friends and family, 58% to a faith leader or spiritual guidance, 30% to a GP, and 24% towards cultural methods (131 responses). Only 4% would turn to mental health support.
Interest in gaining skills and support to manage mental wellbeing was clear. Over 35% responses indicated desire for more support for mental health, as well as nearly 18% for managing spiritual crises, over 19% for suicide prevention, and nearly 60% help to ‘manage stress’.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire concluded that there is an appetite within the community to learn more about, gain skills and receive support to improve health and wellbeing. However, there are significant barriers to getting the support that is needed.
Communities want to see support designed and delivered with their input, within community settings, and building on community networks. Services need to actively engage and reach out to enable this to happen, in a continuous ongoing dialogue, and build relationships over time.