Mental Health Together (MHT) was set up in 2017 to give mental health service receivers and carers a greater say in the services they access; ensuring they are listened to and that their experiences are at the heart of service design and delivery.

From May 2018 the service was in danger of coming to an end due to the withdrawal of funding from Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group as part of their Financial Recovery Plan. However, thanks to the dedication of former Healthwatch Derbyshire CEO Karen Ritchie, and our service receiver and carer volunteers, MHT survived its initial three-year contract albeit with a significant reduction in funding and staffing.

The really good news is that we have now been awarded a further 2 years contract which will take us up to March 2022.  This is a real testimony to the wonderful work of our Expert volunteers and the fact that mental health commissioners are recognising the value of that voice of experience in designing and commissioning services.

So our main contract work involves:-

  • Recruiting, training and supporting Experts by Experience, both mental health service receivers and mental health carers.
  • Identifying the best opportunities for Experts by Experience to be involved in the design and delivery of health and social care services.

In addition to our main contract we were fortunate to be awarded £40,000 from Health Education England last year for a special project looking into the physical health of people with a severe mental illness. This enabled us to employ a project engagement worker, Aileen Power. Aileen has been engaging with people across the county and city to find out about the barriers they experience when trying to stay physically well. In January 2020 we issued our Interim Report with our findings so far. You can read the report in the ‘Our Work’ section.

How you can connect with us:-

  • If you would like to tell us about your experience of mental health and/or social care services please click here to get in touch. We would love to hear from you.
  • If you would like to find out more about becoming an Expert by Experience volunteer please see our ‘Volunteering’ section.
  • If you would like to find out more about the work of MHT you will find all our E Bulletins and Newsletters available to read in our ‘News’ section. We would be happy to email these directly to you if you would like to join our free membership.
Mental Health Together Team
Left to right: Niki, Aileen, Kath

© Healthwatch Derbyshire 2020

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