National action for better mental health
Over two years, we worked with Public Health England to consult, draft, and share a major national initiative, the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health. This included more than 20 events, face-to-face and digital, throughout England, delivered in partnership with the King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health.
Following the ‘Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’, Public Health England was asked to consider how the successful approach of the Crisis Care Concordat could be applied to the promotion of good mental health and the prevention of mental health problems. The result, the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health, was consulted on in late 2016, published in 2017, and disseminated in 2018. This was a complex change process, requiring close involvement of a range of stakeholders in both its design and delivery. Crucially, the programme had to avoid the fate of ‘another document gathering dust’, meaning the need to stimulate peer-to-peer learning that could last beyond the initial publication. Timescales meant that both the original consultation and drafting, and subsequent shared learning, had to proceed at significant pace.
Kaleidoscope successfully bid for both stages of the required work, partnering with the King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health. This involved running five face-to-face and digital events as part of the consultation process, and a further 20 events to support the document’s dissemination and shared learning following publication. At all stages, our approach focused on interaction between participants, sharing what was working (or not) in their areas, and how Public Health England could support them.
Alongside the events, Kaleidoscope also:
- undertook research into how national documents can best support local change
- conducted semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to research how national documents can best support local change
- drafted the Prevention Concordat itself
- produced a range of communications products
- developed a theory of change and associated measures to be used as a means for Public Health England to measure success and support local authorities in improving public mental health.
A dedicated microsite was created for the project – preventionconcordat.com – to host all of the event information, blogs and videos.
For the consultation and design phases, more than 200 people attended the stakeholder events, with participants particularly valuing being involved in the design of national policy, as well as the chance to hear from colleagues they’d not had a chance to meet. The guidance was published by Public Health England in August 2017 to praise from a wide range of stakeholders.
For the dissemination and shared learning phase, a further 500 people attended the face-to-face events, with 93% of attendees saying they would recommend or strongly recommend events of that type to colleagues, and were praised by attendees as thought provoking, useful and informative. The set of digital events were watched by more than 300 people live, and have subsequently been watched more than 700 times.
We’ve greatly enjoyed our long-term relationship with Kaleidoscope, from the very start of the Prevention Concordat right through to seeing its impact in practice. Kaleidoscope’s all round approach, from brilliant events to well-produced webinars, to valuable policy advice, was crucial to the success of the Concordat in improving mental health. We’d gladly work with Kaleidoscope again.
Lily Makurah, National Lead for Public Mental Health, Public Health England