Citywide mental health network launches on World Mental Health Day

Community Roots providers

On World Mental Health Day, 10th October, we're delighted to be launching a citywide mental health network to support good mental health and wellbeing across Brighton and Hove.

Funded by NHS Brighton and Hove CCG and Brighton and Hove City Council, the network – called Community Roots - brings together 16 local providers to strengthen, develop and integrate mental health support for different levels of need.   

To help people who need support navigate and access services, the network is supported by a new freephone number (0808 196 1768) and website (www.communityroots.org.uk), which are available from the 10th October.

Our partners delivering the network with us are: Allsorts Youth Project, Assert, Brighton Women’s Centre, Cruse Bereavement Care, Fabrica, Friends, Families & Travellers, Grassroots, The Hangleton & Knoll Project, Mind in Brighton and Hove, Mind Out, Money Advice Plus, Trust for Developing Communities, Rethink, Switchboard and The Clare Project.

Neil Blanchard, our Chief Executive, says: “It’s a real privilege to be part of this exciting stage of mental health development for Brighton and Hove. Poor mental health affects a quarter of the population and people of all ages yet with effective promotion, prevention and early intervention its impact can be reduced dramatically. Whilst we don’t underestimate the challenges ahead, we’re confident – together with our partners including people accessing services – that we can support good mental health and wellbeing across the City.” 

Linda Harrington, Commissioning Manager at NHS Brighton & Hove CCG, says: “Community Roots is an excellent opportunity to transform mental health and wellbeing support in the City; building on evidence and existing good practice. A key objective will be to improve access to support, with the service working with partners to develop a more integrated and co-ordinated network of mental health services based on the ‘no wrong door’ principle. This is supported with a ‘central point of access’ freephone number and website, which people can use to get the help they need.”

Councillor Clare Moonan, Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, says: “Mental health knows no boundaries; people across the city and in all walks of life can be affected. This new partnership will mean more support is available for people when and where they need it. We’re really looking forward to working with the partnership and linking services to promote mental wellbeing for all.”

Zorenah, a volunteer at the Preston Park Recovery Centre in Brighton who has accessed mental health services over the past 26 years, says: “I’ve been accessing services for about 25-26 years and it was a different set up then. It was almost like one size fits all. Quite often you weren’t listened to by the people that worked in the service. And also there were certain things you weren’t allowed to say, like talking about your voices. You had difficulty in being able to find the right people that would help you and the continual repeating of your story over and over again which was not only frustrating but made people like myself very anxious. It was very difficult in the beginning, but as time has gone on, people are being listened to more, people are being dealt with more as individuals, as opposed to just one group of people. The system is getting more geared up to the individual and to helping people more and it’s gradually getting away from just dealing with people when they’re actually in crisis.”

World Mental Health day walk event

As part of Community Roots’ launch activities, one of our partners, Mind in Brighton and Hove, is hosting a ‘walk’ for people to show their support for mental health. The walk will start at the Peace Statue in Hove Lawns at 11.30am then proceed along the seafront and through the Pavilion Gardens, finishing at the Unitarian Church at 12.30pm. A celebration event will then take place at the Unitarian Church until 2.30pm at which people can take part in interactive activities and find out about support available. If you can, do join us - everybody is welcome.  

For more information, call 0808 196 1768, visit www.communityroots.org.uk or follow Community Roots on Facebook @bhcommunityroots and Twitter @bh_roots