Do you know someone who is struggling with their mental health or who is worried about a friend or relative? We are launching a new campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week to urge people in Leeds to #TellamateaboutMindWell

Leeds City Council Chief Executive, Tom Riordan, explains:

“MindWell was developed by the NHS in Leeds after feedback from people that it could be difficult to know where or how to look for help. The MindWell website brings together information from NHS, Leeds City Council, community organisations and charities into a single place.

“Any of us can experience a problem with our mental health, with many different issues influencing how we well we feel. Things like relationship problems, bereavement, stress at work or worrying about debt are just a few examples. It’s fantastic for Leeds to have a brilliant online tool to help connect people with the right information. If you have a mate who is struggling or doesn’t know where to look for information, it’s important to tell them about MindWell and you don’t need to have spoken to someone or have had a diagnosis to start using it.”

MindWell provides quick and easy access to up-to-date information for all adults in Leeds (over the age of 16), including GPs, employers and other professionals. It can help you to access clear information about support available in the city, self-help resources that can help you better understand and manage common problems like anxiety, low moods and stress and help for what to do in a ‘crisis’ or mental health emergency.

A 25 year old man in Leeds has told the MindWell team how a close mate talked to him about how he was having suicidal thoughts. “I was worried about giving him the right information, but I had heard of MindWell and was able to text him some links to information about who you can talk to and how to find help. It was enough to encourage him to seek to get help and he is now doing much better.”

MindWell is easy-to-use and guides you to the right information through simple iconbuttons. It also displays information in bite-sized chunks, uses calming colours and offers links to short animations and quick self-help tools. Since going live on 10 October 2016, MindWell has had over 50,000 users.

The website was created through a process of co-design with hundreds of local people including healthcare professionals, carers and service users. Involving people at every stage of development has helped to create a site that is simple, friendly and written in plain English. MindWell also has a range of accessibility features including software called Browsealoud which can translate content into nearly 200 languages and can adjust the screen to make words easier to read. British Sign Language (BSL) videos are also being developed to give BSL users better access to information about mental health support.

Alicia Ridout, deputy director of mHabitat, the NHS-hosted team who facilitated development of the website, explains:

“We are really proud that our innovative approach won a number of awards in 2017 including the Patient Engagement Award at the Medilink Yorkshire and Humber Healthcare Business Awards, a national Plain English Award and a place on the Digital Leaders 100 list which celebrates innovations that are ‘blazing a trail’ in the digital space.

MindWell has also just been named in the Health Tech Pioneers list of the UK’s top 51 health tech digital innovations in 2018 – a list which celebrates individuals, companies and projects leading the charge to transform healthcare through technology. It’s also fantastic that the website has been recognised by national health leaders and commissioners as a best practice example of collaborative digital innovation.

MindWell is now leading the way in showing how creative use of digital technology can make it easier for people to find the right mental health support and information when they need it.“

Join the #TellamateaboutMindWell campaign on Twitter @MindWellLeeds #MindWellMates You can also show your support for the campaign by downloading a email signature