Mental Health

Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK. The cost to the health economy is estimated at £105 billion a year. One in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year. Our Mental Health programme was established to address regional priorities, and contribute to the national agenda for mental healthcare reform. The aim of the programme is to identify and enable transformational change that can add value for service users, carers, families and local communities. We do this by working in partnership to enable the system wide adoption of innovation at scale and pace.

The following resources provide an overview of the programme:

The following resources provide an assessment of the impact of the programme:

The following provides information on the main projects within our Mental Health programme:

Long Term Conditions

We know that people with long term physical illnesses suffer more complications if they also develop mental health problems, increasing the cost of care by an average of 45%. We have delivered 3 depression masterclasses to almost 100 primary care staff to help identify depression in people with long term conditions.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is rising, after many years of decline. Suicide rates in England have increased steadily in recent years, peaking at 4,882 deaths in 2014. The rise is most marked amongst middle-aged men. Suicide is now the leading cause of death for men aged 15–49 who are three times more likely than women to take their own lives. To support suicide prevention efforts in Cumbria, we have worked in partnership to establish a multi-agency network to collate and share real time data, with a view to piloting a real time alert system.  A Suicide Prevention: New Frontiers Conference was held in February 2017 which provided an update on the latest models and evidence in the field of suicide prevention, the conference aimed to support the development of best practice around suicide prevention across a range of settings and patient groups.


According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently around 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with one in three people over 65 expected to develop some form of dementia. We are delivering a Living Well with Dementia programme to people who have a recent or suspected diagnosis of dementia, and their carers. We are also supporting partner organisations in their work on dementia, including the Dementia Hub to share and spread innovations, and the CRESTA Clinics (Clinics for Research and Service in Themed Assessments) to provide support for individuals with specific dementia outcomes.


People with psychosis are reported to die 15 to 20 years earlier than other citizens and caring for those with psychosis is reported to cost the UK economy £11.8bn per year. To help address the issue across the region we have:

  • Disseminated the co-production methodology of a NICE concordant psychosis pathway and completed a benchmarking exercise with all secondary care providers in the region.
  • Shared the work and tools developed by the AHSN Yorkshire and Humber to increase the number of physical health checks for individuals with severe mental illness in primary and secondary care.
  • Supported the design and delivery of a virtual recovery college which includes psycho-education including self-management information pages that can be accessed across the region.
  • Produced baseline data reporting including hospital activity for psychosis; this work is undertaken in collaboration with our Measurement programme delivered by NEQOS.Commenced a pilot in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with our Patient Safety Collaborative programme. Started in January 2016, this provides prompts to patients to complete outcome measures that can be recorded in real time into the patient record.

Event Resources

Driving Innovation and Making Change Happen in Mental Health 17 January 2018

Mental Health Summit 9th November 2016 – Event Resources

Mental Health launch event (17/06/15) presentations

To find out more about the Mental Health Programme please contact the Programme Lead, Elaine Readhead:

‘This programme comes at just the right time. There is a national commitment to improving mental health care provision and a huge swell of people wanting to join in the debate and have their say. There is nothing the mental health leaders in the North East haven’t got the answer to. So we must find the energy and capacity to come together and share best practice. Every time we don’t, it means someone is dying early or suffering unnecessarily.’ Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE, NHS England