Hello everyone, my name is Siobhan Drane and I am the Engagement Specialist for MindWell – the mental health website for people living in Leeds. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to talk to you today and I’d like to share more information with you about MindWell, and tell you about the ways it can help you and your patients. I’ll provide you with some background to MindWell and give you a quick tour of the site itself, which I hope will be helpful. 

So what is MindWell?  MindWell is a website which has been funded by the NHS Leeds CCG that brings together information from the NHS, Leeds City Council and the Third Sector, into one single “go to” place. 

It went live in 2016 on 10 October – which was World Mental Health Day. MindWell contains a wealth of information about: 

  • key services and the support available across Leeds
  • there’s self help information including downloadable resources and videos to help people to look after their own mental health and wellbeing
  • Information about what to do in a crisis or mental health emergency 
  • as well as information about common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. 

All the content on MindWell has been developed in co-design with professionals, carers and people with lived experience. The self-help content has been reviewed by clinicians and subject experts so it can be trusted. The website can be translated into around 100 different languages using the orange icon that looks like this, and I’ll give you a quick demo of this a little later. The software is called Reachdeck. 

MindWell played a key role during the pandemic and was refreshed in 2020 with a new directory of services and improved navigation and content. We know that many of you are already using MindWell, some of you text the link to your patients and some of you may show patients the website during a consultation. It is helpful for a patient to know that MindWell is a website and not a mental health service, so they know what to expect when they visit the site. One GP recently told me it was her favourite website, which I was really pleased to hear! 

I’m now going to show you the MindWell website (Siobhan demonstrates live website) www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk. To begin with, I’ll just give you a quick demo of how to change the language on the website using the orange icon at the top right-hand corner. Just click on the icon and then using the drop-down menu, you can select which language you need and then hover over the content and press play. Patients may find this a helpful tool.

I’d like to now give you a quick tour of some of the sections on the site that you may wish to signpost your patients to. You can see when you land on the homepage of the site, there are sections for “I’m looking for myself”, “I’m worried about someone” or “I am a professional”.

If we start with the “I’m looking for myself” area. And let’s take a quick look at the “Exploring your Mental Health” section. This can help someone to understand why people experience problems like anxiety and depression. It also covers panic attacks, sleep problems and self-harm. It contains tools and techniques within each section to help them cope.

Let’s look at “How Life Experiences can affect us” – you can see that this includes life events such as bereavement, being a carer for someone and becoming a new parent.The bereavement section can help someone to understand the grieving process and signposts them to key services across the city which can provide support.

The carers section provides useful information about organisations across the city who can help, such as Carers Leeds and Mind and there is also information about carers groups. The “Becoming a new parent” section has various options to choose from such as “I’m pregnant”, “I’m a new mum”, “I’ve had a miscarriage or lost a baby” or “I’m a new Dad or partner”. You can click on the relevant sections to
help you explore how you might be feeling and find the right help and support.

I’m now going to show you the “Looking after your wellbeing” section as this may also contain useful information for your patients. This section can help someone to find ways to feel better and improve their wellbeing and physical health.

So if you go to the “Looking after your wellbeing” section and click on “Quick self-help techniques”, there’s advice, videos and downloadable pdfs to print off. There are breathing exercises and techniques for helping someone who is feeling anxious to feel calmer.

Another area which I’d like to show you is the “MindWell MOT checklist”, which can help someone to think about their own personal wellbeing needs. There is an example of a completed checklist to help you to complete your own. It asks people to think about areas such as sleep, movement, eating well and drinking more water each day. Once you’ve completed the blank MOT checklist for yourself it can help you to set goals to improve your own mental health and wellbeing.

And finally, in the “I’m looking for myself” section of the site, I’d like to just show you the “Finding support” page. This section has details of useful helplines, digital tools, apps, courses and support groups across Leeds. There is a link to the new MindWell Directory. This can help you to find a wide range of local and national support which can be accessed through self-referral. You can use the drop-down menu and click on the different categories to find the support you need.

It also has information about talking to a GP and preparing for an appointment as this may be a daunting experience for someone who is experiencing mental health problems. You may have patients coming to see you, who are worried about a friend or family member so there’s also a section on the site with information for if you are worried about someone else.

Next, I’d like to show you some of the things that can be found on the professional section of MindWell which you may find helpful. So, to get to this section of the website, just click on “Professionals” from the Homepage. In this services and referral section, there are links to key services around the city for self-referral such as the Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service and the Leeds Recovery College. This page links you with information about key services that can be found in the MindWell directory. This section also has links to services which are only accessible through a professional referral.

“Professional tools and resources” – There are tools for professionals which you may find helpful during a patient consultation or initial assessment, and these can also be downloaded. And in the “MindWell self-help resources library” there are a whole host of CBT tools and resources.

There’s also a section on the site that has information about support for GPs and other healthcare professionals, to help with their own mental health and wellbeing. There is information about helplines, useful apps and support services.

We have a range of paper resources for your surgeries including posters, bookmarks and small cards. These can be ordered easily from the Public Health Resource Centre and there are details on how to do this on the page “Ordering MindWell Promotional materials”. We also have a slide which can be displayed on plasma screens in surgeries and waiting rooms which can be downloaded here.

I hope that this quick tour of the MindWell website has been helpful to you today and that you’ve learnt something new about the types of support it can offer to you and to your patients.

So just looking ahead to the future. We have plans to make more improvements to the MindWell website, to make it easier to navigate and make signposting clearer. We will keep you updated on these improvements through the Primary Care Bulletin. We also have a brand-new Newsletter which you can sign up to on the homepage of MindWell.

If you have any questions, feedback or want our help in any way, we would love to hear from you.
And I’ll finish now by showing you a short video called “MindWell video: A guide for using MindWell for Leeds healthcare professionals” which can be found on the Professional section of MindWell: www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/professionals/mindwell-toolkit-for-professionals/

Many thanks for your time today.