Mental Health and Housing: A learning exchange - Friday 21st September 2018

In response to a call from our public and patient advisors, CLAHRC NWC held a learning exchange focussed on mental health and housing and its links with health inequalities at Preston’s Gujarat Centre.  As we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase work across the different streams of CLAHRC-NWC, we teamed up to discuss joined-up work streams involving the Household Health Survey, the Partner Priority Programme and the Neighbourhood Resilience Programme (NRP).

The day was a smorgasbord of linked public mental health research and implementation studies happening across the North West Coast.  The examples showcased were inspired by a place-based focus on communities and systems approach that brought together residents to collaborate with academics, local authorities and NHS organisations to produce tangible, positive effects on health, individually and collectively.

The morning examined three themes - communities and connections, physical and mental health and the use of local services.  It was great to hear findings from the first wave of the Household Health Survey and then to hear about how partners are working to address critical issues such as practical solutions to address loneliness, dealing with poor physical health and improving services for first presentation of self-harm.

In the afternoon, we heard inspirational and enthusiastic stories from the NRP work with Stockbridge Village and Blackburn with Darwen.  Their examples showed how they have been tackling housing issues by creating new participatory spaces to connect diverse system partners, activate local resources and amplify the voices of those groups who are less vocal so they articulate their demands.  Both projects showed how when you ask “Why not?”, people can offer important insights into directing local policy, research and healthcare practice.

The most worthwhile bit of the day by far, came in the form of discussions and contributions to thinking made during table work.  During the group work, we considered how we can make real change in the thematic areas we discussed and how we, in partnership, can make that change happen.

As our ‘wishing tag’ comments indicate, the joined-up nature of the learning exchange went down really well; we plan further such events on topics to be agreed.  So, if you have any thoughts on what the next learning exchange could focus on, please let us know via Lucy Jones  

More articles     Posted on: 02 October 2018