International Women's Day: Jane Holland

Tue, March 9th, 2021

Jane Holland, Business Lead: Head of Employment and Inclusion at The Life Rooms

International Women's Day blog by Jane Holland, Business Lead: Head of Employment and Inclusion at The Life Rooms

The Life Rooms is Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s (MCFT’s) Social Model of Health. The Social Model of Health is designed to support the prevention and population health agendas by activation through a three-pillar model; learning, social prescribing and community. The three-pillar model enables people to become more activated in their own health; it operates within a social approach that focuses on prevention and the enabling of community and community assets to encourage system change. Through health activation and system change, population health is improved and pressure on clinical services is reduced.

My role involves working with local commissioners and clinical divisions within MCFT to agree a Service Specification and Implementation Plan around the Social Model of Health; ensuring robust governance arrangements are in place. I am incredibly proud to have been involved with The Life Rooms from its inception; it was co-designed, and continues to be co-developed, with users of the service, partners and local communities. The service has won numerous awards and in 2020 for the second consecutive year, The Life Rooms has received the Northwest NHS Parliamentary Award for Excellence in Mental Health Care. In addition to winning the North-West Award, we are now shortlisted for the national award in this category; judging will take place in July 2021.

Obviously Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the way that The Life Rooms service has been delivered over the past 12 months and consequently to how my role has evolved. As my title suggests I also oversee The Life Rooms Employment Services in Liverpool, Halton and Warrington and the Wirral; all are commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups. I am proud to be able to share with you that during lockdown the employment services helped 47 people into paid employment and will continue to work with people throughout the year ahead.

We know that the longer term effects of the global pandemic will have a dramatic effect on the mental wellbeing of members of the population and therefore on mental health services. The following predictions are taken from the document ‘Modelling the impacts of Covid-19 on mental health services in Liverpool and Sefton’, commissioned by Mersey Care and delivered by The Strategy Unit:

  • Overall demand for mental health services (measured by referrals) over the next 24 months could increase by around 30% (compared to a full year of referrals);
  • The most referrals are likely to be for those patients with existing long-term physical conditions who are struggling to manage with the psychology of the pandemic, lockdown policies and economic change;
  • Anxiety, Depression, Stress and PTSD will likely be the most frequently presenting issues by some margin. Significant numbers of people may also present with loneliness, suicide ideation and self-harm issues.[1]

The predicted economic downturn associated with Covid-19 will also have significant health impacts. The graph below shows the likely overall impact against a number of facets, specifically: addressing the immediate Covid-19 issues, delays and interruption to care and the overall impact on mental wellbeing.

The Life Rooms is appropriately placed and will be there to support the management of this increase in demand for mental health services, the associated health impacts of an economic downturn, and the people who will require the support of our employment model.

I know that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Choose to Challenge’. The Life Rooms truly lives by this concept by challenging the stigma around mental illness and ensuring that no one is socially excluded from the provision for whatever reason. I hope that everyone who reads this will feel enthused to check out our services at www.liferooms.org; you will be warmly welcomed by all of the team.

[1] The Strategy Unit 2020 ‘Modelling the impacts of Covid-19 on mental health services in Liverpool and Sefton’

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Mersey Care NHS FT

Mersey Care NHS FT

Life Rooms Bootle, St Winefride's Campus, Merton Road, Bootle, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, L20 7AP

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