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Working in partnership

As champions and advocates of the 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues in Hampshire, we want to ensure that people accessing local mental health and wellbeing services are given the support, choice, dignity and respect they deserve.

Strong, collaborative partnerships with the public, voluntary and private sectors allow us to build sustainable services, rise to challenges and continue to innovate.

Through our professional partnerships, we aim to:

  • Lead with lived experience: We make sure the voices of people living with mental health issues are influencing at an Executive level.
  • Make an impact: We work together to deliver tried, tested and proven recovery approaches and models that help people move forward.
  • Be a critical friend: We give honest, constructive feedback to improve support for people with mental health issues.

One of our strategic priorities for 2020-23 is to build and maintain collaborative partnerships that address areas of unmet need and build networks and resilience in local communities.

We would particularly like to hear from those with experience of working with children and young people, vulnerable women and Black and ethnic minority communities. We’d also like to develop relationships with organisations that have experience of providing employment support or online services.

To discuss more, please contact us and ask to speak with our Business Development Director, Emma Fernandes.

You can read some examples of our partnership working below.

Leading innovation with Solent NHS Trust

Together in 2015, we developed and established the Portsmouth Support and Recovery Service; a pioneering integrated service bringing together clinical services and peer led support. Staff from both organisations co-deliver proven recovery models through the Solent Recovery College, Wellbeing Centre, Community Peer Recovery Team and Portsmouth Employment Support services.

The innovation offered through the service’s choice and diversity demonstrates a modern standard of mental health support. At its launch, Solent NHS Trust’s Adult Mental Health Services Operational Director, Matthew Hall said “What makes this stand out is its focus on the individual. Everyone overcoming a mental health issue is on their own journey, they take steps at their own pace, and they don’t conform to a set pattern.”

This understanding underpins our unique and successful commissioning partnership with Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, Portsmouth City Council and Solent NHS Trust. In 2019, the partnership innovated to meet the need for flexible and practical emotional wellbeing for city residents, including its growing population of veterans. Our new collaborative service, PositiveMinds, offers a ‘one stop shop’ of drop-in practical support, signposting and authentic guidance.

Empowering lived experience with Southern Health

Experiencing a mental health crisis is a scary and often lonely time. Feedback from those who have experienced a crisis reveals that connecting with someone who is able to offer shared experience can give them the hope, compassion and inspiration needed to move forward.

This feedback, along with proven rates of lower readmission to crisis units, led to the joint development of The Lighthouse; a new integrated service from Southern Health and Solent Mind, providing informal, drop-in crisis support for Southampton city residents.

Visitors can access support from NHS staff who hold professional registrations as well as personalised quality time with lived experience-led Peer Supporters. The integration with Peer Supporters also offers another unique benefit: the empowerment they gain by using their story to help others, supports their own mental health and often decreases the likelihood of relapse.

Unable to offer face-to-face support throughout the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the team has innovated digitally and are hopeful that the pandemic’s legacy is to offer residents more choice and control over their care.

Building resilience with Utilita

UK energy provider Utilita contacted Solent Mind in 2019 to discuss workplace training opportunities for almost 400 members of staff. The scale of the project, coupled with the staff being spread across several UK offices posed a unique challenge.

We developed a bespoke training package presented as a ‘Mental Wellbeing Roadshow’. The Roadshow offered 23 one-hour sessions, on subjects such as building resilience and workplace stress and were delivered to staff in Southampton, Glasgow, Warrington, Sheffield, Chesterfield and Colchester in collaboration with other Local Minds. The sessions, often delivered by those with their own lived experience of mental health issues, were well-received by Utilita staff. One attendee noted, “it was also really nice to have someone talk about it that has been there and can relate to the topic. I found it quite inspirational."

Plans were made to repeat the successful roadshow in 2020, however the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic introduced a new opportunity. Training Coordinator Mandy Wiltshire says, “the switch to online delivery actually enabled us to reach out to employees who may not have attended face to face training. For the first time, staff from all over the country joined in sessions together.”

As our relationship with Utilita has grown, so too has their understanding of our organisation and how they can use their own skills to help us build resilient staff. In 2020, Utilita managers mentored three Solent Mind staff members. Mentoree and Wellbeing Coordinator, Gaby shared, "the guidance and support I have received from Utilita has been extremely vital in helping me navigate issues as a first-time manager."

When adapting to online fundraising during the Covid-19 lockdown, Utilita helped us write questions for an online charity quiz and supported our efforts with a £3,000 donation. In August, Utilita nominated us to receive a share of their £50,000 apprenticeship levy funding, allowing us to train and invest in people passionate about a career in mental health.  

Removing barriers with No Limits and The Prince's Trust

The long established Fairbridge programme offered by The Prince’s Trust gives 16-25 year olds the opportunity to access personal development through outdoor activities, residential trips and training in subjects such as sports, drama, photography or cooking.

For many young people, one of the many barriers to personal development can be poor mental health. In 2019, Solent Mind and Southampton young person’s charity, No Limits, partnered to support young people’s access to the Fairbridge programme through one to one and group wellbeing support named ‘Youth Affinity.’

Named by young people, Youth Affinity brings together No Limits’ experience of successful facilitation with young people and Solent Mind’s mental health expertise to create safe and authentic groups where young people can connect and swap ideas for living well. For those with specific needs, one to one peer mentorship is available from those with lived experience of their own mental health issues.

Working in partnership has made a funding opportunity accessible to two specialised charities, and importantly, the Youth Affinity team can help ensure that a mental health problem does not stand in the way of a young person's success.

Our partnerships