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Local solutions meeting local needs

The Tendring Mental Health Hub was initiated in 2015 by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Essex County Council, Tendring District Council, the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, and NE Essex Clinic Commissioning Group and continues to improve people's lives today offering support to residents of Tendring District.

The hub, located in Clacton, is based within the Community Clothing Project and offers an easy single point of entry for referrals from GPs, health professionals, police, parts of the CAB and self-referrals. Individuals then receive a holistic assessment of their needs and are signposted to relevant services.

Social Need

Tendring District has a higher incidence of people with mental ill health living in the community than other areas of Essex. This places an additional pressure on public services such as the NHS, local Councils and the Police. Many of these people are trapped in the ‘revolving door’ of discharge and readmission to hospital, and other secondary and tertiary mental health services.  This is due in part to:

  • Social isolation and lack of opportunity to engage in meaningful activity
  • Therapy being provided in isolation without the wider causes of mental ill health being addressed.

It is acknowledged that there are insufficient resources to meet the national demand for mental health services and it is therefore vital to make efficient and effective use of the statutory and community resources that are available.

Benefits

The triage assessment provides an effective opportunity for early intervention to prevent homelessness, escalation of unmanageable debt, loss of benefits and benefit sanctions, dismissal from employment and the breakdown of relationships. Keeping people resilient, resolving their problems at an early stage and preventing them from descending into crisis saves money for the public purse and helps to prevent deterioration of mental health. 

Benefits include: 

  • improved health and wellbeing and less dependence on health services
  • reduced social isolation and poverty
  • avoiding homelessness and benefit sanctions
  • reduced anxiety due to unmanageable debt
  • reduced risk of offending or becoming a victim of crime
  • avoiding dismissal from employment

Impact

In it's first year the project supported a total of 2,237 Tendring residents. 321 clients with mental ill health have received a holistic assessment, identifying 738 issues. Following intervention by the Hub, 75 clients reported that they had avoided needing to see their GP for support with their mental health. In addition, the hub prevented:

  • 12 suicide attempts
  • 10 clients from self-harming
  • 8 admissions to the acute psychiatric ward
  • 7 clients prevented from becoming victims of domestic abuse and gang related crime

This is an incredible opportunity for Tendring to fly the flag for an innovative way of working, which could eventually be adopted as a model Essex-wide.

The project was funded with support from Essex County Council, Essex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, NE Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and from Tendring District Council.