Work underway to improve mental health support in North Yorkshire and York

How people access mental health support matters. Evidence suggests that the processes people have to navigate can have wide-ranging impacts: everything from how they are treated by staff on the front-line, to the experience of booking appointments, to the forms that need to be filled out to access treatment.

The University of York wants to explore how to improve access to mental health support through reforming these “administrative” processes – and have reached out to local

Healthwatch and the community to learn more about public experiences.

Healthwatch, the champion for people who use health and social care services, have been hearing about a lack of access to mental health services and people’s poor experiences on a regular basis. People told them about the challenges in receiving timely, person-centred and quality care, as highlighted by Healthwatch York in their mental health crisis report and Healthwatch North Yorkshire in their experiences  of mental health services report

“If you properly support people with their mental health then everything else follows – people’s physical health is better and there is less of a strain on the NHS.”

“Mental health support is key to so many other things – and it’s totally inadequate at the moment.”

As a result of Healthwatch findings, an action plan and commitment to do more was made by the North Yorkshire & York Mental Health Alliance. There has also been some additional funding:  

To identify priorities for future research and get a better sense of people’s experiences of systems, the University of York are holding a face-to-face workshop for the public to identify important areas for future mental health services research.

If you want to take part in this workshop, you  must live in York or North Yorkshire and have lived experience of accessing mental health services, through the NHS or local councils, either as a service user or carer. 

 The session will be held at The Principal Hotel on Station Road, York, YO24 1AA on Monday 19th February 2024 from 10:30am to 3.30pm. 

Individuals will be offered £75 for their involvement and travel expenses will be covered.

To register interest in attending, please visit

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