What you've told us about mental health day services
'I really value the service, it's quite central to my life. It supports me and stops me feeling isolated. It helped me recover and now I'm better able to cope'
Day services provide a safe and welcoming space for local residents who use mental health services, or feel lonely and isolated. The service is offered from three different sites: the Mind Hub and the Mind Spa in the north of the borough, and Mind Empower in the south. The centres help service users to build sustainable coping strategies. Service users can spend time with other people who understand their condition and who may be in a similar situation.
The service is due to be recommissioned. Islington Council asked Healthwatch to help them gather service users' views on current provision. We spoke to 101 service users across the three centres.
We found that people greatly valued the service, and were anxious about change. For example, the idea of travelling to a different centre was problematic for many respondents. They described the centres as feeling like family, as being a place to see friends, and that staff were reliable and caring. For many it was important that the centre they used was within walking distance, or only required one bus.
People also valued the informal environment. They appreciated knowing that activities were on offer for when they felt well enough to participate, but if not they could simply turn up and be around others or get a meal. There wasn't pressure to 'do' something specific. Although the council made it clear (in the information for service users that accompanied our consultation exercise) that the service would not be expanded, many respondents still said that they would like the centres to be open more often and for longer.