Snapshot study: looking after your mental health

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bexley, Lewisham and Greenwich supported the Big Health Day which was aimed at residents with learning disabilities, their families and carers, in Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham on 25 October 2019. They used the opportunity to explore the experience of people with learning disabilities in relation to their mental health.  They engaged with 51 respondents in the form of a short questionnaire (38 completed) and a focus group (13 attendees).

Most of the people who took part were happy with the services they receive, although they revealed that not all services met their needs, and some were difficult to access. Many of the residents with learning disabilities told Healthwatch they experienced poor mental health and seeing their GP was the main source of support when feeling low. Many tried to keep themselves as mentally well as possible by spending time with family and friends or taking part in leisure of fun activities. People wanted to be better supported to make healthy life choices. This included more accessible information on how to stay healthy and what leisure and volunteering opportunities are available. A smaller number siad they did not always feel understood by healthcare services.

The report included 8 recommendations about the support provided to people with learning disabilities by health and care services, how to communicate with people with learning disabilities, raising awareness of leisure, continuity of care, the need for reasonable adjustments and access to advice.

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General details

Report title 
Snapshot study: looking after your mental health
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bexley
Healthwatch Greenwich
Healthwatch Lewisham
Date of publication 
Thursday, 26 March, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 25 October, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 25 October, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Health promotion
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

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

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Psychiatry/mental health (hospital services)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
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.