In the run up to World Mental Health Day (10th October), a new video is being launched to shine a light on the extra emotional and wellbeing support available to people in Wirral through a new local partnership. 

The Cheshire and Wirral Community Wellbeing Alliance is made up of partners from the NHS, social care, charities and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations – all with one purpose… improving community mental health. The Alliance was formed to deliver the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan by improving access to mental health support and modernising community services.

The video highlights two of the organisations involved in the alliance, JourneyMEN and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral who have both received NHS funding to provide targeted mental health support.

With suicide remaining the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, JourneyMEN’s mission is to provide early and practical support to help local men rebuild their lives and avoid getting to a critical crisis point. Tomorrow’s Women also provide short courses, specialising in confidence building and anxiety, plus extra support to women who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (CWP), chief executive, Tim Welch, went out with JourneyMEN and Tomorrow’s Women on the Pride of Sefton narrow boat to see for himself how different therapies are making a big difference.

He explains, “JourneyMEN and Tomorrow’s Women do a fantastic job working alongside our local specialist teams. As an NHS organisation, it’s important for us to know that we can’t improve people’s experience alone, as the drivers for poor mental health are so multifaceted. I’m delighted we have such excellent local and community partners, under the umbrella of the newly formed Cheshire and Wirral Community Wellbeing Alliance.

“One of the top priorities for the Alliance is to tackle issues which contribute to poor mental health including loneliness, building self-esteem, employment and improving physical health and fitness. Thirteen local projects have been launched across Cheshire and Wirral – making use of the therapeutic interventions provided by community-based organisations to help people continue to live full and meaningful lives."

Phil Roberts, JourneyMEN chief executive, said: “The Pride of Sefton boat, together with the narrowboat we use on the Cheshire canal ways, are some of the non-clinical therapeutic activities we use to get men out-and-about and actively engaged with each other. We also use the boats as ‘floating counselling’ space where men can open up and talk with trained staff.

“It’s just one of various physical activities we run at JourneyMEN, thanks to the support and partnership of CWP and our friends across the community. By joining up solutions that address both physical and mental health needs, we find the overall wellbeing of our men improves dramatically.”

Angela Murphy, Tomorrows’ Women, chief executive, said: “The need for mental health support is increasing and partnership working is crucial to support our communities. We have seen an increase in the severity of women’s mental health and the trauma that they have experienced over the past two years. Loneliness, isolation and low confidence all impact on our mental health and our motivation.  

“At Tomorrow’s Women, we support all women and young girls with a wide range of free services, from courses including wellbeing and confidence building, creative and relaxation classes to one-to-one support and counselling. No woman is turned away”

Step aboard the Pride of Sefton narrow boat around the Liverpool docks, to find out more and meet some of the people behind the alliance and who benefit from the services provided.