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See below for details of current and past research studies:

Improving mental health awareness and mental wellbeing for young people in Oxfordshire: An investigation into the information and support available on mental health for young people


The Oxford Mental Health Forum (OMHF) was awarded a grant by Healthwatch Oxfordshire to find out more about the information and support available for young people in the county. OMHF’s survey gained responses from 324 young people, 15 schools, 44 professionals and 21 parents/carers. Amongst the findings, it was reported that:

  • 16% (53) of the young people who completed the survey had either not previously received any information on mental health or were unsure whether they had.
  • Whilst 165 respondents (60%) had received all the information they needed, 108 respondents (approximately 40%) did not receive all the information they needed.

Another notable finding was the difficulties experienced by professionals and parents/carers as well as young people themselves when they wanted to access mental health services:

  • Over 75% of the professional respondents to the survey had encountered some form of difficulties or barriers in being able to provide mental health information or guidance and support needed to young people.
  • 70% of parents/carers who responded to the survey had worries or concerns about their child’s mental health. Only 33% felt able to give their child advice and support themselves, without additional help and support.
  • From those who had been able to seek help, less than half found the information or guidance and support obtained helpful (40%) and over 90% had experienced difficulties in gaining access to the information and support needed.

The research highlights the need to provide more talks on mental health, and the importance of ensuring that schools have more resources and training to address young people’s needs.

Oxford Mental Health Forum has outlined a number of priorities aimed at mental health providers and commissioners for addressing young people’s mental health needs, with a focus on:
  • Increased mental health awareness and understanding, including more provision of information through schools.
  • Early intervention offering support aimed at prevention and looking after mental wellbeing.
  • Reducing waiting times and increasing ease of access to mental health services.
  • Providing more practical advice and support (including CBT and Mindfulness) in helping young people to address mental health related problems.

Vivienne Laurie, Chair of the Healthwatch Oxfordshire Project Fund Board said, "This is an excellent initial study. The grant was awarded based on OMHF raising concerns that were prompted by individual enquiries and national and local research. The findings have given rise to some clear recommendations for more work to be done in this area to improve information and support available to young people. We are working with Fiona [Project Lead and Founder] from OMHF to ensure that providers and commissioners of mental health services and schools make the best use of this evidence to make real improvements.”

View the report [PDF format | published May 2014]

If you have any questions about the research, please get in touch, by contacting:

Oxford Mental Health Forum: enquiries@oxfordmhf.org.uk or
Healthwatch Oxfordshire: hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk

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Access to talking therapies in Oxfordshire: a comparative study

An online poll was hosted on the Oxford Mental Health Forum website to collect data on how long people have had to wait to gain access to talking therapies. The results of the research were very concerning, with nearly half of those who took part in the poll (there were 54 responses in total) having waited more than six months for their first treatment session.

The results of the poll prompted further research to be carried out to establish the extent at which the results reflect more substantial data, revealing that waiting times for talking therapy in Oxfordshire have been falling short of the Government's 28 day target.

View the research findings  [PDF format | Published February 2013]

The research resulted in local media coverage, with BBC Oxford covering the story on the long waits for accessing talking therapy as their top local news headline during their radio Breakfast programme on Monday 18th March, which included an interview with Rezina Hakim, Policy and Campaigns Officer from mental health charity MIND, Clinical Psychologist, June Dent, from TalkingSpace, as well as personal experiences of people who had used the service. The story was also reported on BBC South Today.

It was reported during the programme that TalkingSpace will be taking on more staff and will soon have more treatments available in order to meet the increase in demand for the service.

Mental health charity, Mind’s response:

“We know that for many people with mental health problems, the IAPT scheme is a valuable intervention towards recovery and the use of talking therapies in the NHS is increasing. Most recent data shows that the overall picture is improving, with more people being referred to psychological therapies on the whole.

However, the results from the Oxford mental health Forum poll chime with Mind's own We need to talk report: gaining access to psychological therapies is difficult for many people and still too many people are waiting over 28 days from first referral to see a therapist.

We're pleased to see that overall waiting times have slightly improved, although in many areas waiting times are still increasing. There continues to be a worrying degree of regional variation in IAPT service provision, with most recent data showing over 100,000 people still having to wait over 28 days to access therapy.

When people are experiencing a mental health problem, they urgently need effective treatment to help their recovery - these figures still have a long way to go before they are acceptable.”

Rezina Hakim, Policy and Campaigns Officer, MIND
March 2013

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Patient/service user and carer involvement in Oxford Health NHS FT

Oxford Mental Health Forum and Oxford Health NHS FT have been working collaboratively to establish patient/service user and carers' views on involvement within the Oxford Health NHS FT mental health division.

An online survey was devised to find out more about patient and carer views on involvement across services. The report accessible below details the results of the survey, along with the conclusions that were drawn from the responses received.

View the summary report  [PDF format | Published November 2012]

If you have any questions about the research, or would like to share your own views and/or experience with us please contact:

Oxford Mental Health Forum: enquiries@oxfordmhf.org.uk;

Oxford Health NHS FT: enquiries@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk.

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Related links:

Healthwatch Oxfordshire

talking therapy waiting times

BBC South Today

© BBC South Today. Published with kind permission.

Related links:


It is therapeutic and has done me a power of good. More good, for instance, than CBT or perhaps even medication

~ patient/service user