South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has launched its new user-friendly website to help keep local people in touch with services and events as well as understand more about looking after their mental wellbeing.
The address remains the same- www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk -but over the past few months the layout has been redesigned to make it clearer and more engaging and the information has been fully re-written.
The revamped site now includes information for people who use services, their carers, staff, partner organisations and the general public, many of whom make up the Trust’s 14,000 members, to ensure everybody can access the information they need about the Trust and about mental health issues generally.
The site features facts and figures about mental health and learning disabilities, designed to break down stigma and increase understanding.
Information on the site includes: • General information about mental health and learning disabilities
• Carers advice and support • Tips for mental wellbeing • Information about local services • Job vacancies • Information for the media • Medicines management • Time in hospital
There is also a specially written section for young people, which explores common conditions as well as myths and misunderstandings about mental health and advice on where to go for help.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, said: "As 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem, our presence on the internet is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma and promote wellbeing. While the website is not designed to replace face-to-face interaction with our staff, it is essential to provide clear, easily accessible information to help people learn more about our services or prepare for a visit."
The Trust is also on Facebook and Twitter, which gives people new ways of keeping in touch and joining discussions about health issues.
The chief executive added, “Everyone’s talking about Facebook and ‘tweeting’ especially young people, so it is a great opportunity to try and engage with local people and for communities to find out more about their local NHS and how they can have a say.”
The Trust was the first NHS organisation in the country to join Facebook and since then it has seen its membership grow, with current members including Trust staff and local students.
The Trust hopes that encouraging people to get involved using new technology will improve feedback about services, help to reduce the stigma attached to mental health and improve understanding and awareness.
Anyone who uses the new website is being invited to help the Trust put it through its paces as part of a ‘test’.
Volunteers will be asked to give feedback on how they find the site as well as advice on how they think the information could be improved or what could be added. Volunteers do not need any special skills or experience to be involved in this work, although it would be useful if they have used a computer and websites before.
Anyone who would be interested in helping the Trust with this work can contact firstname.lastname@example.org