Choose well for mental health – a guide for adults

This engagement is CLOSED


The Trust launched and created a new guide and campaign to help people in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield to ‘choose well’ when looking after their mental health and wellbeing.

Information and support around mental health and wellbeing can sometimes be difficult to find, conflicting or even out of date; often leading to people being unsure about where to go for help, or what information they can trust. We created the ‘choose well for mental health’ guide to pull information together into one trusted place to help with these challenges.

Based on the national NHS ‘choose well’ campaign – which historically focuses on physical health – the guide showcases examples of how a person may be feeling alongside support available in these different circumstances.

The Trust is one of the first Trusts nationally to develop a ‘choose well’ guide which focuses solely on mental health and wellbeing.

Who did you consult with and what did you ask?

The guide was produced collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders including:

  • People with a lived experience of mental health
  • Families and carers
  • Trust staff including clinicians
  • Voluntary and community sector
  • Local authorities and COVID-19 response hubs
  • Acute hospitals
  • Police
  • Housing associations
  • Fire and rescue
  • Clinical commissioning groups (CCG)
  • MPs

To begin creating the guide, the Trust communications team worked with Trust and other local clinicians such as GPs and A&E staff, to map out what mental health and wellbeing services were available and the different thresholds/concerns for each service. This was a lengthy process which saw us join different clinical groups to present the guide and make sure it was clinically accurate.

We then worked with our equality and engagement team to set up a virtual focus group with patients, carers, families and VCSE representatives to run through the draft guide. Questions asked during the group included:

  • What you think of the language and wording in the guide?
  • Is the information clear and easy to understand?
  • Is there anything missing from the guide or anything you could think of to improve it?

Equality monitoring information was also gathered to help make sure the focus group was representative of protected characteristics and the local population we serve.


What did they tell you?

As the guide was developed with a broad range of stakeholders and because a number of conversations took place the key areas for consideration from these conversations are set out below.  People told us:

  • That the guide needed to be a one stop guide to support
  • The guide needed to be visual, clear and easy to understand
  • Plain language needed to be used
  • That the information needed to be in different formats
  • That service explanations needed to describe entry points
  • People needed to know what they could expect from each service
  • The information needed to fit with the regional, national and local picture

We received invaluable feedback from the group, which saw us change the language used in the guide alongside making additions to the guide such as a tear out crisis page to help people plan for a mental health crisis or emergency.

Specific quotes from patients/service users involved in the group included:

  • “Thank you for taking such care over the leaflet and making it work for us, it means a lot that the Trust are putting their money where their mouth is in getting this leaflet right.”
  • “I think it is a really helpful, positive leaflet that I would definitely use and would pass on to fellow service users.”

What did you do?

The updated guide was created and then launched across print and digital channels, and a toolkit featuring a news article, social media assets and the guide was shared with partner and community organisations to help them share the guide with people they work with. Our chief executive also wrote out to local MPs to share the guide and toolkit.

To date the guide has been embraced by partners such as South Yorkshire Police for example who rolled this out to community police officers in Barnsley. Key feedback from partners has included:

  • “Thank you so much for the information and it will be incredibly useful for all our staff delivering to vulnerable people within our communities” – West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
  • “This will be a massive step forward and a real help for those who are unwell and those who care for them. It will not only help them identify problems early but then point them in the right direction” – Kirklees VCSE
  • “This is an excellent document, very clear, easy to read and understand” – Wakefield CCG.

The guide has also been produced in easy read and Urdu – as identified through equality monitoring and further translated or accessible versions can be provided on request.

Where can you find more information about this work?

An engagement report was not developed for this piece of work but the guide, and more information about this, can be found on the Trust website:


Engagement location: Trustwide

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