New community mental health service launches in Trafford | News and Events

New community mental health service launches in Trafford

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) is joining forces with a network of local voluntary and community organisations, and people with lived experience of mental health problems, to launch a new community mental health service for the people of Trafford.

Living Well Trafford – part of the national Living Well programme – will be jointly funded by members of the Trafford Integrated Care Partnership, including, GMMH, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, and Trafford’s Primary Care Networks. It will be delivered by GMMH in partnership with Bluseci and the wider Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE).

The service, which officially launched on Tuesday 27th June 2023, will support people who are experiencing mental health problems that are too complex to be managed by their GP. It will work with people to understand their own personal goals, and empower them to achieve them in a holistic way.

Alongside a variety of dedicated mental health support and treatment from NHS clinicians, the service will also connect people with their local community, and help them tackle any social factors that they may be struggling with - which may also be having an impact on their mental health - such as: housing, employment, loneliness, debt, substance misuse, or family dynamics.

The service will take a ‘trauma-informed’ approach to care, meaning that it will seek to understand past traumatic events which an individual has experienced, how this may have had a lasting impact on their wellbeing, and what they may need to help them move forward.

Living Well Trafford was co-designed and co-produced by the Trafford Collaborative - a multi-sector partnership including clinical and non-clinical staff from GMMH, VCSE organisations, and most importantly people with lived experience of using community mental health services, to make sure that the service was fit for purpose for anyone who needs it.

The power of lived experience will continue to be a huge part of the Living Well Trafford offer. Peer Support Workers will act as experts by experience, able to connect with people from a place of understanding as they know what it is like to walk in their shoes.

An event on Tuesday 27th June officially marked the launch of Living Well Trafford. It was attended by people with lived experience, who helped design and develop the service, as well as representatives from multi-sector partner organisations, and staff who will be working at the service.

Living Well launch event

Pictured: Living Well Trafford launch event

Sue Ellison, Individual Experience Lead at the Trafford Citizens’ Forum, and Non-Executive Director at Bluesci said:

“I have a long history working in healthcare. In 2012, I nursed my mum at home during a terminal illness. Following this, I was sleep-deprived and became very unwell with my mental health. I was severely depressed and experienced intrusive thoughts.

“I was an inpatient at Moorside – a mental health inpatient unit in Trafford, run by GMMH - for eight weeks, under the crisis team. Following that, I was under the community Home-Based Treatment Team, with psychologist support, for a year. I got better.

“Living Well is the opportunity of a lifetime to see mental health services transform in a meaningful way. It takes away some of the power from the mental health professionals and gives it back to the individual.. They, their family and friends, and the community become equal partners in their care, which is so important for recovery.

“We know that there are individuals in the community who are disadvantaged from accessing services, be it due to race, culture or lifestyle. We need to be brave to look at that, understand why they find it difficult to access services, and do something about it. I have every faith that Living Well Trafford will do this.

“Having a diagnosis doesn’t define who we are. GMMH saved my life, and Bluesci helped me to find a life worth living. It is this powerful combination that helps people to move on and live useful and fulfilling lives.”

Barri Evans, Team Manager for Living Well Trafford and the Mental Health Primary Care Network at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Living Well works with people who are struggling with their mental health and who need support with a wide range of problems. Things like housing, finances and employment, and experiences like loneliness and isolation, that we know have a huge impact on their mental health. Living Well supports meaningful recovery through a collaborative relationship, working with the ‘whole person’, and supporting them to achieve their aspirations.

“People tell us that our services often create invisible barriers and silos and are not always easy to navigate. They end up bouncing around from one to the other and are placed on ‘yet another waiting list’. This can be a real barrier to their recovery. Our integrated Living Well model unites the system to improve access and breake down these barriers.

“Lived experience has driven this service development, building an offer around the experiences, thoughts, feelings and insights of a wide range of people from our communities, who have previously accessed mental health services. I am delighted to say that this service has been developed by and for our citizens, we are really proud of it and we think the people of Trafford will be too.”

Ric Taylor, Head of Service Delivery and Transformation Mental Health & Learning Disability (Trafford), NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care said:

"Living Well Trafford, which has grown from our Primary Care Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, has been produced alongside people who have lived experiences of the challenges that mental health and wellbeing can present.

"Many people told us they would much prefer not to have to tell their stories over and over again – reliving trauma – in order to get the help and support they were asking for. They also want a wider range of psychological support, and to be supported in places where they felt safe – not ones that were convenient to professionals.

"However, with today’s launch of Living Well Trafford, we are confident we have begun to transform mental health and wellbeing in Trafford for a generation to come.

"This is another step on our journey and we continue to work with our partners to learn, grow and improve. Through Living Well Trafford, we want residents to have access to a wide variety of voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE), health, social care and other resources to support their own recovery, and to contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of their own families, communities and neighbourhoods.

"Our vision is of an easily-accessible service embedded in Trafford's neighbourhoods, that supports our GPs to help everyone to be healthy, and that helps people to reach the help they are asking for quickly and in a place where they feel safe.”

Adam Rothwell, Senior Manager at Bluesci said:

“We wanted to make sure that the service we are developing is offered in spaces where people feel safe. Our hubs are located in the heart of Trafford’s communities. They have a welcoming atmosphere, filled with artwork made by those in our creative groups, with gardens made and tended to by members of the community. These places don’t carry the stigma that a medical venue might.

“Bluesci’s role in Trafford Living Well is to make sure people are connected to the VCSE. We ask people ‘what has happened to you, and what do you need?’, not ‘what is wrong with you?’, and this shift in focus is so important.

“We listen to people and empower them to find their niche – whether it be art, creative writing, music, volunteering, or even starting their own group. People have a sense of ownership over their projects and feel truly connected to their community.  Through this work, people are able to find their purpose, and the impact of this on their mental health cannot be overestimated.”

Trafford Launch Event

Pictured left to right: Sue Ellison (Individual Experience Lead at the Trafford Citizens’ Forum, and Non-Executive Director at Bluesc), Claire Fraser (Head of Operations at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust) and Ric Taylor (Head of Service Delivery and Transformation Mental Health & Learning Disability [Trafford] at NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care)

Phase one of the service will see this support offered in two community mental health hubs based in North Trafford and Central Trafford, with an aim to roll it out across the remaining three Trafford neighbourhoods.

Living Well Trafford is open to anyone who is 18 or over and registered with a Trafford GP, who is experiencing mental health problems that are too complex to be supported by their GP. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health and may benefit from the support offered by Living Well Trafford, please speak to your GP about a referral.

To find out more about community mental health transformation in your area, visit:

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