The 555 Project

The 555 report

The 555 project aimed to capture the lived experience of mental health service users in Essex.

Read the 555 report (PDF version)

Read the 555 report (Plain Text Word version)

Read the easy read version of the 555 report (PDF version)

Our 555 mental health report identified 5 key themes that matter to mental health services users in Essex.

  1. Continuity.It’s vital that people with mental health conditions see the same practitioner & don’t have to retell their story each time.
  2. Trust & trustworthy practice.People want to be listened to and trusted as experts of their own mental health condition.
  3. A holistic approach.People want to be treated as a whole person.Health professionals need to look at the whole picture.
  4. Choice and control.People want choice of a range of services & therapies – one size doesn’t fit all.
  5. Communication & joined-up services.Services need to talk to each other & get facts right – patients don’t want to re-explain each time.

Our 555 mental health report identified 3 key themes that matter to people with postnatal depression in Essex.  

  1. Education.Raise awareness of PND among parents, families & friends to explain the signs, how to access support, and reduce stigma. 
  2. Reassurance.Supportive, positive and understanding midwives are crucial.
  3. Inconsistent level of care.People felt support from health visitors should be the same – regardless of if it’s your first or third birth.

Why did ecdp and Healthwatch Essex carry out 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 was an exciting piece of work to make the voice of Essex mental health services users heard by the people who commission the service.

It was 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.

News update