A Rochdale mental health revolution

Rochdale MH eventPeople in the Rochdale borough are set to benefit from a mental health revolution.

Around 160 people came together for a special event at Rochdale town hall. The first of its kind in the borough, the aim was to kick start conversations about how to transform and plan better mental health services for local people. 

Attendees included local people who have a mental health condition and those who care for them.

In addition to a range of staff from our Trust, representatives from lots of other organisations attended including, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (which oversees the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust); Rochdale Borough Council; NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group; the Greater Manchester Heath and Social Care Partnership, GP and primary care services; North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust; community and voluntary and charity organisations, including Rochdale and District Mind and Thinking Ahead.

Attendees heard from professionals about current mental health services, including some of the challenges and future opportunities.  

Personal experiences were shared by people who use local services. And Ian Smith, former rugby super league referee and ambassador for the State of Mind programme, spoke about his own personal experiences of dealing with mental health issues in a male dominated environment.

Following this, a breakout session provided an opportunity to develop plans for the future.  Plans will be tailored to the six neighbourhoods in the borough, recognising that each is unique.

Key points from the event were shared on social media using #UsNotThemRochdale. This aimed to highlight that mental health affects everyone in some way - whether directly, or indirectly through supporting a friend, colleague or family member.

Other highlights of the event included stress buster and mindfulness sessions and entertainment provided by Music Street. This is a band set up by service users from Heywood-based Recovery Republic, who use music to support their mental health recovery.   

Agency Creative Connection captured key points from the day through a large and colourful piece of artwork.

Caroline McCann is our associate director for mental health and specialist services in the Rochdale borough.  She said:  “It was great to see so many people come together with a shared goal of improving mental health services. There was a really positive energy in the room and a commitment to work together. 

“People choose to work in health, social care and wellbeing services because they genuinely care about making a difference to people’s lives.  This dedication, along with ongoing input from people who use services, will help to make sure that future care is just right for people’s needs.”

Phil Cheetham is our managing director for the Rochdale borough. He added:  “A huge amount of effort went into pulling this event together.  I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made the event such a success – I’m so proud.”

Further workshops are planned for 2019 to help progress these initial plans.

The transformation of mental health services in Rochdale is being strengthened by new funding from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

The funding is already being used to drive forward some exciting developments.  A particular focus is on providing better round the clock care for adults experiencing a mental health crisis, with the aim of keeping them out of hospital.   Further details about this work will be shared soon.

Photo caption:
Pictured left to right are:  Phil Cheetham, our managing director for the Rochdale borough; Caroline McCann, our associate director for mental health and specialist services in the Rochdale borough;  Ian Smith, former rugby super league referee and ambassador for the State of Mind programme; Steve Taylor, chief executive of Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group