The 555 Project

Each year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. For Essex, that’s around 375,000 people - enough to fill Colchester Stadium over 300 times.

But what do people think of the mental health service they get?

And what can we learn from their experiences to help services improve?

The ‘555’ project is an exciting piece of work to make the voice of Essex mental health services users heard by the people who commission the service.

It’s run jointly by patient voice organisation Healthwatch Essex and disability organisation ecdp.

Find out more about Healthwatch Essex on their website

Demand for services is rising and financial cutbacks are increasing, so mental health services face a real challenge.

How best should they spend their budget to improve the lives of service users in Essex? Listening to today’s service users can help shape some of tomorrow’s solutions.

Over the summer, we ran five focus groups all around Essex to gather the lived experience of mental health services. We heard from people who may only have used the service once to be referred for counseling, to those who regularly receive care in the community, and those who have experienced care as a mental health in-patient in a hospital. We also carried out a specific post-natal depression focus group.

We’ll now use our findings from these focus groups to develop a picture of where mental health services are working well in the county, and where they could be better.

Tell us your story

If you missed our focus groups, please take part in our survey and let your voice be heard.

The 555 mental health project survey

We have also created a word document which allows you to have your say.  Please tell us your experience and email back to Laura Dunn who's email address is below.

Download the 555 document

Email Laura Dunn at

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