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What is the vision?


“Currently mental health services can be fragmented, difficult to access and often provided in isolation. Collaborative Newcastle partners believe that we need to be more ‘human’ in our approach. It can’t be about how we fit people into traditional services; it has to be about looking at each person’s problems or challenges as a whole, understanding the social needs that are contributing to mental health issues and shaping the support accordingly.”

Our mental health transformation work is bringing together partners in Newcastle (including the local authority, NHS, GPs and the voluntary and community sector) to create better and more sustainable mental health support for local people.

We are committed to improving accessibility and choice, building on community strengths and developing a more person-centred, holistic approach to mental health care.

Significantly, we want to look at how the community close to home can support people to improve their own health and wellbeing. It’s not just about providing ‘services’. We want to enable and empower people to access early stage mental health and wellbeing advice or support as required, to help avoid the need for specialist services at a later stage.


How will we make a difference?


  • Earlier this year we brought together 80+ colleagues and collaborators from health, social care, voluntary, charitable and housing organisations from across Newcastle for an ‘orientation’ session.

  • This session set the scene for this important piece of work to radically rethink and transform mental health care and support in the City.

  • A panel of representatives from the NHS, Council and voluntary sector presented the vision, answered questions and invited participants to join four ‘try and test’ groups being established to take this work forward in a collaborative way across the City.

  • The try and test groups are centred around four areas of Newcastle:
  • Central and East
  • Inner West
  • Outer West
  • North

  • This location-focussed approach will enable activity to be more responsive to the priorities and needs of local communities and will recognise the diversity across the City.

  • This locality working also matches the approach of Children and Families Newcastle (another Collaborative Newcastle priority workstream) and is known as the 147 model – 1 Newcastle, 4 localities, 7 Primary care networks.

  • The try and test groups will develop ideas and explore opportunities to trial a series of new activities, approaches or ways of working to improve mental health support for local communities.

  • This approach means that together we can try new things, understand what works well and develop and improve as we learn.

  • The four try and test groups have all identified areas of focus for their initial work.

When will things happen


  • The try and test groups, established in March 2021, will continue to meet regularly and progress their work in the agreed priority areas, ensuring wide community engagement and participation.

  • The facilitators for each group will continue to share ideas and updates from each of the localities – with a view to implementing successful approaches in multiple locations.

  • Regular reporting will be taken to the Adult Mental Health and Learning Disability Board and the Collaborative Newcastle Delivery Group for progress updates and decision making.

How can I get involved?


To find out more or to get involved in this work, please contact Aileen Boulton, Newcastle Community Mental Health Transformation Programme Manager: Email:

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