System Impact: Emotional and mental wellbeing
Creating impact and unlocking the potential for physical activity and sport in the local (Bucks & Milton Keynes) emotional and mental wellbeing system.
Leap have taken insight and national opportunity to influence local strategic partners to unlock opportunity, resource and support. In parallel, identifying, educating and brokering relationships with key local stakeholders, delivery partners and a host of other local partners to widen their offer and create change in the local system and provision.
Leap identified mental wellbeing as one of 4 key challenges that physical activity and sport could positively contribute to in its’ 2018-22 strategic framework, improving lives through physical activity and sport. Not only is the wellbeing of the population a challenge in statistical terms, it also features in plans and strategies of many of our key partners identified in the Leap stakeholder mapping. The headline: 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness this year, is hard hitting, and a conversation starter, and can be localised with key data for example, according to the Annual Population Survey (2015), residents in South Bucks and Aylesbury Vale have higher than average levels of anxiety. There has also been a 40% increase in hospital admissions reported amongst 10-24 year olds in MK for self harm since 2013; the highest proportionally in England. Partner priorities and local statistics, combined with the positive impact that physical activity and sport can have upon emotional and mental wellbeing have set the scene for this area of work.
Emotional and mental wellbeing identified, using data and key partner priorities, as a challenge that physical activity and sport could make a positive contribution to.
Emerging good practice from Get Set Go pilots shared with local partners including Bucks and BLMK minds to highlight the role that physical activity and sport can contribute to the emotional and mental wellbeing landscape.
Existing projects AV Girls Can and Sportivate realigned to address mental wellbeing, including amending data registration and implementation of the Bucks evaluation framework to include new questions to measure and start to build an evidence bank around the impact of physical activities on mental wellbeing.
Discussions in progress with key partners to develop Get Set to Go bid. Bucks Mind, WWFC SET and CCG Commissioner join Leap at the Dorney Lake Sports Aid Lunch for further discussion and awareness raising around the physical activity and sport landscape.
Leap hosted a mental health themed partner forumwith approximately 50 partners attending, sharing relevant good practice from key presenters.
Bucks is one of 6 areas to secure Get Set to Go investment.
Invited to join the Buck Time to Change steering group.
Bucks Get Set to Go delivery starts.
Partner workshop development and delivered.
Invited to Bucks Peri Natal Health steering group, resulting in the start of a new partnership, signposting new Mums to activity.
Following continued advocacy and networking in Milton Keynes, a multi agency application was submitted to MK Community Foundation for Get Set to Go. Leap supported MK Dons with Get Set to Go EFL bid. Bucks Public Health invested to expand the Get Set to Go training.
Continued alignment of Leap programmes and events, with the PE conference linked to mental health, offering a dedicated workshop for teachers.
Leap invited to support Mind and Sport England to review the latest Get Set to Go investment into the next 12 areas.
Wellbeing actions included in the Bucks physical activity strategy delivery plan for 2019-20, including Oxford Health to develop bespoke treatment interventions for anxiety and depression involving physical activity and to increase the confidence of the Healthy Minds team to systematically signpost to physical activity and sport.
System Map and Narrative
Understanding key partner priorities identified mental wellbeing as a key priority for the majority of strategic partners in Bucks and MK. With a large number of strategic partners focusing on mental wellbeing, and the growing evidence base around the contribution physical activity can have in prevention and treatment of mental ill health, there was opportunity to ensure that physical activity and sport is embedded on the landscape, and to develop true collaborative leadership around a shared challenge.
To prioritise where to place capacity, in terms of partner engagement, Leap carried out stakeholder mapping for the challenge. Partners were ranked based on their relevance and influence to the challenge and have a Leap score representing the effectiveness of the relationship. Partner survey feedback from these partners has also been combined to help understand where best to place Leap capacity to build and enhance the most relevant partnerships. The partners outlined on the system map below were identified as key to success and establishing Leap as a key player on the emotional and mental wellbeing agenda.
National insight about mental wellbeing, with where present, local statistics have been used to influence and educate traditional partners around the prevalence of mental ill health and create a platform to start discussions about how collectively we can create a county offer. For example, at themed partner forum, Leap presented key stats and invited national and local partners to provide examples of good practice. Insight in terms of evidence and good practice around the role physical activity can play in the prevention and treatment of mental ill health and the improvements in self reported wellbeing that can be achieved through participation in physical activity and sport has been used in discussions with partners on the wellbeing landscape. These partners were also invited to the forum to introduce the 2 partner groups and pave the way for partnership working.
Advocacy, Policy and Investment
Due to the prominence of mental health in key stakeholder strategies and priorities, it was apparent that there would be ownership throughout organisations from board/exec level down to officers. Whilst the mental and emotional wellbeing challenge was new to Leap, Leap have existing effective partnerships with the majority of the key strategic players on the landscape for example, the county council, and Public Health. Engaging these partners together with the sharing of evidence and good practice has helped open the door to local mental health organisations including Bucks Mind and BLMK Mind and has lead to collaborative working.
The challenge was to place physical activity and sport on the mental wellbeing landscape for these organisations. Leap continued with a multifaceted approach, sharing good practice and influencing key individuals within organisations.
Advocacy work has resulted in success unlocking funding to build capacity and delivery in this area. Bucks Public Health invested in Get Set to Go training, Bucks announced as one of only six areas to secure Get Set to Go investment(£36,000). Planning and alignment of resources secured £20,000 from Sport in Mind to provide exit routes from Get Set to Go programmes for SMI patients.
Milton Keynes is proving more challenging; advocacy work continues to work with partners to apply for funding to the MK Community Foundation following a second unsuccessful application to Get Set to Go from MK Dons and BLMK Mind.
Leap have also been recognised as a key partner on the physical activity and wellbeing landscape, and supported Mind and Sport England to review latest national Get Set to Go investment into 12 new areas.
As a result of raising the profile of physical activity and sport as an optional treatment or part of a treatment plan for wellbeing, for the first time during 2019-20, actions for partner organisation Oxford Health have been including in the Bucks physical activity strategy actionplan. Oxford Health also now has a regular seat at physical activity strategy group meetings.
In addition to building new partnerships with key stakeholders, Leap have been mindful to engage and educate traditional partners, for example local authority sports development, workforce including sports coaches and instructor, and leisure facility teams in the agenda to educate and support them to evolve their offer to ensure they are able to meet new demand created. The partner forum themed around the benefits of physical activity and sport to preventing and helping to treat emotional and mental ill health was a good example, with 50 partners in attendance.
Upskilling workforce is a key element of Leaps approach and is prominent in Leaps’ professional workforce plan. The combined upskilling and aligning of agenda have successfully unlocked investment to create impact across the county. Examples include:
- Get Set to Go:
130 Coaches, instructors and professionals attended MHASPA workshops to date
- Aylesbury Vale Girls Can:
25 instructors and deliverers supported
- Time to Change:
90 teachers and 400+ coaches and delivers received anti stigma and signposting packs
Delivery followed the success of investment and commenced in September 2018. It includes Get Set to Go, alignment of campaigns and delivery across the mental health and physical activity sector for example include, joining satellite club investment, membership on the Time to Change steering group, establishing parent workshops with secondary schools, and pathways into activity for new parents from peri natal team. New workshops were also introduced at the PE conference.
In January we’re launching the second and final funding round to select 12 more local Minds to deliver Get Set to Go, in the last funding round, it was really useful to include a Active Partnership on the selection panel and, given how much you’ve supported our work to date, I’d like to invite you to sit on the next one. Would you be interested?
Tony Li, Community Delivery Lead for Physical Activity, Mind
Thank you again for all the input and offer of resources which is really helpful and supports the health and wellbeing for our clients. Best wishes
Elizabeth McNicholas, CBT Therapist
North Bucks Psychological services – Liaison to Bucks Adult Perinatal Community Team
That’s great about the Get Set to Go funding and will definitely lead to some exciting things happening in Bucks of which we would love to be a part of it!
Sam Parker, Community Manager, Wycombe Wanderers FC SET
This sounds like a good idea thanks for contacting me Chris. I would envisage that the person could link between the statuary service and the physical activity provision that you have outlined.
Jack Workman, Mental Health and Physical & Sensory Disabilities Commissioning Manager, NHS Aylesbury Vale & NHS Chiltern Commissioning Groups
Continuous Improvement and Learning
Key success factors
- Having the need and evidence identified and linked to partner organisation strategic outcomes
- Clear idea of key local stakeholders and partners linked to the challenge - informed by team and board stakeholder mapping
- A persistent and multi faceted approach to engagement of key stakeholders using emails, lunches, networking, partner forums etc.
- Strong influencing and communication skills – lead by strategy, enabling us to engage partners in shared objectives and joint investments
- Ability to present the need and an evidence based, tested solution, with the opportunity to secure national investment to address a joint local issue
- Staggering funding applications for different areas/projects to the same pot to remove conflict of interest
- Ensure strong relationships with stakeholders and partners across the whole organisational area – funding as yet has not been secured for MK as MK more aligned with Beds than Bucks
- Strategical identify national events to attend, based on outcomes for the local system
- Ensure partnership agreements in place from outset