We want everyone living in Dorset to experience the best mental health and wellbeing possible.

Currently, primary and community mental health services do not always meet everyone’s needs. Through the Mental Health Integrated Community Care Project, we have the opportunity to work with local people and communities to improve mental health services for adults and older people, and those that support them.

An image of Durdle Door with text that says "Mental Health Integrated Community Care Project". Working together to improve mental health support provided in our community".

To help us shape the future of these services we have been speaking to service users, local communities, support groups and staff working in mental health teams across the county. We asked people what was good or helpful about Dorset’s mental health services, what they felt could be improved and to share their hopes, ideas or aspirations for services in the future. In light of Covid-19, we also asked people to share experiences of mental health services during the pandemic in Dorset.

The view seeking period ran for 8 weeks, taking place between 17 August and 9 October 2020.

In late 2020 / early 2021 we held several co-design events, where we presented our findings from the view seeking stage, shared examples of good practice, identified common themes and most importantly offered everyone the opportunity to discuss in smaller groups what would be the ideal way forward for Dorset in terms of community mental health services.

We were so pleased to welcome over 120 participants to these sessions, and attendees came from a wide range of backgrounds, including service users, mental health staff and VCSE organisations.

We have now entered the implementation and co-production stage of the project. Led by Dorset HealthCare, six care pathway groups were formed as follows – the Stress Related Disorder Group, Managing Mood Conditions Group, Complex Trauma and Personality Disorder Group, Psychosis Group, Building Your Life Group, Anxiety and Fear Related Disorders Group.

NHS Dorset formed a MHICC Health Inequalities Group, independent of the MHICC project with a purpose to critically appraise, sense check and challenge to ensure health inequalities principles are integrated within each care pathway of the MHICC. The group has a diverse mix of representation from varying organisations. Members bring advice and expertise from their organisations and their personal experiences.