Mental wellbeing

Where to get help, information and support for suicide, self-harm, mental health and wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sources of online support during the coronavirus outbreak.

Support and help for suicidal or self-harm thoughts

Are you are experiencing suicidal feelings or thinking about self-harm? The following partners can help you:

Wellbeing

Public Health England Every Mind Matters

Public Health England Every Mind Matters. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Answer an interactive quiz to get top tips and advice for you on mental wellbeing.

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing is a simple checklist for your daily life to help you bounce back from life’s knocks. We have put together a list of services that will help enable you to:

  • connect
  • be active
  • take notice
  • keep learning
  • give.

Mental wellbeing needs assessment

We’ve been looking at wellbeing across the county, what people’s needs are and what we can do to improve it. See our mental wellbeing needs assessment animation to find out how we are planning to help residents.

Read an accessible version

Mental wellbeing needs assessment

Introduction

A partnership is working out how we can do more across Oxfordshire to support and improve mental wellbeing for all.

Mental wellbeing is about getting the most from life, staying well, and feeling connected to those around you and where you live.

The partners are:

  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Vale of the White Horse District Council
  • Elmore Community Services
  • Connection Floating Support
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • Healthwatch Oxfordshire
  • Cherwell District Council
  • Rethink Mental Illness
  • Oxford City Council
  • Active Oxfordshire
  • Oxfordshire Mind
  • West Oxfordshire District Council
  • South Oxfordshire District Council
  • Response
  • Restore
  • Age UK

We have looked at four things that have a real impact on mental wellbeing, as well as wider factors in our communities that affect how we stay mentally well.

  • Someone’s financial situation
  • Their activity levels
  • Their access to and use of green spaces
  • And their connection to others

The challenge

We know everyone is different and respond differently to life’s challenges.

But we know across the county some people don’t have the same opportunity to be as healthy as others, and that we have hidden local issues. 

We want to provide information to help identify and target where support is needed, how it needs to be delivered and who needs it the most.

Identifying the challenge

  • Even before COVID-19, 1 in 5 Oxfordshire residents when surveyed said that they had felt anxious the day before.
  • Statistically, girls have lower mental wellbeing than boys.
  • National figures suggest that those who are middle-aged, those who are unmarried, and with long-term health conditions are more likely to be lonely.
  • Young people (age 16-24) are more likely to report being lonely than any other adult age group. It is the younger renters, with less of a sense of local belonging who are most likely to experience loneliness.
  • Feeling of happiness and worth decrease in those over 80 or 85 years. Those who are more likely to be lonely are widowed older homeowners, living alone.
  • Across Oxfordshire, poor health, living with a disability and older age are identified barriers to accessing green spaces which we know improve mental wellbeing.
  • Most visits to natural spaces across Oxfordshire are made by those who identify as being white and from more wealthy families.

The effect of COVID-19

COVID-19 has further increased the impact of these experiences. 

  • Teenagers are most likely to struggle with sleep and feel lonely. During the first lockdown, 41% of Oxfordshire pupils in year 13 (age 17-18) reported being too worried to sleep. 
  • In December 2020, compared to the same point in 2019, the number of 16-24 year olds claiming unemployment benefits more than tripled. 
  • Female students with experience of food poverty, who were preparing for exams, or who had previously accessed support were most at risk of reduced mental wellbeing (across southern England)
  • In the last two years, the largest decline in physical activity was amongst less wealthy families and those from black backgrounds.  
  • Many of us went online for work and to socialise, but Age UK reported nearly 2 million over 75s across the country remained digitally excluded.
  • Isolation, particularly for older residents, is likely to have had multiple impacts on physical wellness, strength, mobility and social confidence.

All of these can impact mental wellbeing.

Where do people turn

Residents from some of Oxford’s more diverse and newer communities were asked about their views on wellbeing and who they turned to for support.

They said:

  • 87% turn to friends and family
  • 58% to a faith leader or spiritual support
  • 30% turned to their GP if worries became too much
  • 35% would like support with mental health

But the survey also showed

  • 60% said they would like help managing stress

And

  • Only 4% would ask for specific mental health support from professionals.

Link to video: https://youtu.be/4cs51ejZZIk

And according to a survey of 8-18 year olds.*

*Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Merseyside and Buckinghamshire

  • Nearly 1 in 5 students are experiencing significant mental health difficulties and find it hard to get help.
  • 1 in 5 reported feeling lonely most of the time.
  • 1 in 12 year 9 (13-14) students said they had been bullied in the past year.
  • Most are worried about how they look.
  • Around 1 in 5 students are worried about having enough money to pay for food or living costs.
  • 1/3 of students spend over four hours a day on social media.

Where do young people turn for support?

Their support networks are mainly local. Parents and carers, friends, school and online organisations.

The way forward

It is possible to make a difference.

We know that communities and partnerships working together and putting mental wellbeing at the heart of policies and planning is the solution.

We need to understand more about need. Local level community data means we can better understand issues and use it to inform plans.

We need to reach those in need at key life points and before they access formal healthcare. Less access to support can mean people also don’t use what is available. We need to reach people at specific ages or certain life stages that need support before they access formal healthcare.  

We need to build back fairer from COVID-19. Understanding the full effect of COVID-19 on mental wellbeing will help us improve understanding and remove the barriers to access.

A great opportunity for change

Across the county, many initiatives already provide practical and emotional support to help.

Our work will bring communities and best practice together to deliver a fairer Oxfordshire – building on those that exist and adding and supporting others to bridge the gaps we identify.

Move Together. Move together has supported those who have been shielding as well as people with long term health conditions.

The sleep campaign. Delivered by Oxfordshire Communications Group it looked at the impact of COVID on us and how it affected our sleep. It was aimed at frontline professionals and volunteers.

Active Oxfordshire. Active Reach has been supporting residents facing barriers to activity across the county, including in Blackbird Leys, Greater Leys and Banbury.

Style Acre. Delivers a buddying programme to adults with learning disabilities, promoting wildlife and nature activities.

Cherwell District Council in partnership with Oxfordshire Mind and Resilient Young Minds. Delivers a programme working with primary school children in year five and six to help them understand more about stress, anxiety and self-esteem. 

Learn more

Get help, information and support for mental health and wellbeing.

Local support services

Find counselling and emotional support services near me

National support services

Suicide, mental health and wellbeing strategies in Oxfordshire

As part of new partnership groups and plans, organisations across Oxfordshire are committed to:

  • making prevention a priority for improved mental health
  • reduced suicide and self-harm.

The Mental Health Prevention Framework - 2020-2023 (pdf format, 871Kb). The framework outlines how organisations are plan to work together for everyone in Oxfordshire. To have the opportunity to achieve good mental health and wellbeing. It will focus on:

  • working with partners across the system
  • insight and evaluation
  • creating confident professionals
  • resilient communities.

The Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Strategy - 2020-2024 (pdf format, 4.2Mb). The strategy represents the combined work of the Oxfordshire Suicide Prevention Multi-Agency Group and residents’ views. It focuses on:

  • suicide safer communities
  • frontline professionals and settings
  • accessible support for those bereaved by or with experience of suicide
  • a strong integrated prevention network.