Urgent action needed to address mental health challenges in the North East

Thousands of people in the North East do not receive the help they need to tackle their mental health problems, concludes a powerful new report.

Living Well is published by the Tyne and Wear Citizens Commission on Mental Health and co-produced by Fuse.  It contains testimony about mental health issues, services and challenges, and concrete recommendations for action by people with the power to improve services.

The report urges health providers, universities and community organisations in the North East to work together to increase access to services and support for people with mental health problems.

The Commission held a listening campaign that received over 300 testimonies about mental wellbeing and public life across the region. Analysis of these testimonies identified common issues such a lack of early intervention, large differences in treatment and recovery services across the region, and limited attention to suicide prevention.  These issues put immense pressure on individuals and institutions when trying to help someone in crisis or when coping with the effects of someone taking their own life.

The report draws particular attention to the impact of social determinants of mental health, such as the effects of punitive sanctions in the benefit system, which require action from multiple stakeholders across the health and social care system. This was also recently highlighted in Fuse research on the impact of Universal Credit in Gateshead.

Working across organisations is encouraged in the report, for example, one of the actions asks Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to release 15 of their clinicians to participate in a pilot to promote mental health and emotional resilience in schools.

The Citizens Commission approached Fuse through our responsive research and evaluation service AskFuse to identify researchers to gather evidence of good practice nationally and internationally, analyse transcripts and testimonials, co-produce recommendations to ensure they reflect testimonial evidence submitted, and provide input for the Compact (a formal agreement) between mental health services in the region.

You can read the full report here and its Executive Summary here.


Tyne and Wear Citizens (TWC) is an alliance of member institutions across Tyne and Wear, which includes schools, university departments, faith groups and charities. TWC are a local Chapter of Citizens UK.

Tyne and Wear Citizens set up a Citizens Commission on Mental Health: wellbeing and public life in the f.  The commission aimed to map problems and identify solutions around mental health services. The aim was to identify creative and innovative solutions to everyday mental health problems.  Citizens themselves are very much seen as part of the solution, and three public hearings were held to collect evidence for the Commission’s report.  The evidence and recommendations for the final report were derived from people's personal and professional testimony of what was good, and what needed improving, with regard to mental health services in the North East.

Last modified: Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:21:59 GMT