We are transforming mental health and wellbeing services and increasing the types of services available across South West London. We know people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing continues to be impacted by the pandemic and demand has increased, especially for children and young people’s mental health services.
Mental health services needed to expand and improve before the pandemic. Now more people need to access mental health services, but their needs are increasingly more complex than before the pandemic. The increase in the number of people and the types of care they need is increasing pressures within community services, mental health urgent care services and inpatient pathways across all ages.
As a system we are reviewing the needs of our communities and our existing transformation plans to meet the demand. We are working with our mental health service partners to focus on prevention and early intervention and develop the capacity we need to support people, including support for people who are waiting for treatment.
How we’re making a difference
What are we doing?
Our priorities are:
Developing a new mental health strategy
We published a new mental health strategy for people who live, work or study in South West London in July 2023. We developed this three year strategy with our partners and stakeholders to make sure that our plans reflect the needs of people who use our services and their families, carers and friends.
Improving crisis care
Continuing to expand and improve mental health crisis care provision for people of all ages. This includes improving the operation of all age 24/7 crisis lines, crisis resolution home treatment teams, mental health liaison services in acute hospitals and alternatives to A&E.
Transforming community mental health
We are supporting our mental health trusts to deliver year two of the three year community mental health transformation programme.
Developing our workforce
As well as focussing on recruitment, training and development and staff wellbeing, we are continuing to use the mental health practitioner Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) roles to improve the care and treatment for adults, children and young people in line with NHS Long Term Plan ambitions.
Preventing suicide and self harm
We are building on the interventions and projects we launched in 2021 aimed at preventing suicides in middle-aged men and children and young people. This has included offering all our secondary schools and further education colleges the opportunity to access specialist suicide awareness and prevention training through a nationally recognised organisation dedicated to preventing suicides in children and young people. We are also supporting the development of a Men’s Shed in each of our boroughs, where men can socialise and take part in activities such as woodworking or playing football while, at the same time, providing an opportunity to pass on messages of support for mental wellbeing.
Improving physical health
We are implementing a programme to review and improve the support offered to young people with a serious mental illness to improve their physical health.
Maternal mental health
We are developing a new maternal mental health service to support people who have experienced trauma during their maternity journey, or whose past trauma is affecting their mental health in the perinatal period (during pregnancy and the the first year after giving birth).
South London Listens
Continuing to support the South London Listens community listening campaign launched by the three south London mental health trusts in 2019. In June 2021, the trusts launched a two-year plan based on what the community asked us to do. The plan sets out how we will deliver across four priority areas:
- Loneliness, social isolation and digital exclusion
- Work and wages
- Children, young people and parental mental health
- Access to services
Read more about South London Listens
If you would like to get involved in our work to transform mental health and wellbeing services email us at [email protected]
Find out more about how you can get involved in our work on the Get Involved pages.
Find mental health and emotional wellbeing information, advice, support and services for children and young people in South West London, and for parents, carers, teachers and people who work with young people.Children and young people’s mental health service directory