What is Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria?
This blog post recognises the partnership work underway in mental health across Lancashire and South Cumbria during Mental Health Awareness Week. It has been written by Paul Hopley, Programme Director for Mental Health in Lancashire and South Cumbria, following the 'Living Well and Supporting our Mental Health: Exploring Digital Opportunities' event:
"What a great day to have in the middle of mental health awareness week... exploring opportunities to work differently to tackle challenges in mental health and make a positive difference for people across our region.
The event has been developed by working together with colleagues from digital health, mental health and the Innovation Agency supported by a great team of staff. The idea was born over a simple cup of coffee which has led to an event with over 60 people in attendance sharing their passion to innovate and improve experiences, health and wellbeing for people in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
This event has been a great opportunity to engage with a wide range of stakeholders including people with lived experiences, Lancashire Police, Local Authorities, clinicians and Third Sector providers about opportunities in using digital technology when it comes to mental health.
Of particular note and of great privilege was listening to the people with lived experiences, this was a powerful reminder of why we are all here and what we all come to work for - to improve the experiences people have when using our services. It emphasises why it is so important to work together, as only together can we help address the issues they have shared.
The key issue raised again and again was how people do not feel they have been listened to effectively. How do we not only hear their voices but use them to help reshape the services to ensure how people get the help they need first time? How do we use these experiences to make long term changes that make a real impact?
One of the outcomes from today was how can we use digital technology to improve people's wellbeing and mental health and their experiences of using services. This could be in the form of an app or social media.
The workshop session in the afternoon gave a great platform for people to share their ideas, their passion and innovation was clearly in abundance on how we could do things differently and put the focus on patients.
I was really inspired by this event, and am really fortunate to be in a position where I can help drive these ideas forward for our patients and staff here in Lancashire and South Cumbria.