Doors open at Wantage Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub

The hub is just down the road from Sainsbury’s in Limborough Street and serves the people of Wantage, Didcot and Faringdon. It is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Doors open at Wantage Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub

A new Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing hub has opened its doors in Wantage.

The hub in Limborough Road was opened by Expert by Experience Leith Greig-Connor who represented all the members of the public who have been involved in co-creating the hubs.

She was joined by Wantage Mayor Dr Angela Dunford and Trust chair David Walker. 

Leith is part of the Our Voice group, a patient experience group made up of people who use or have used Oxford Health mental health services. The group has been integral in the development of the Keystone hubs since the project’s inception more than three years ago.

Our Voice developed out of a willingness to shape mental health services, sharing constructive feedback and ideas for the future.

Together with mental health professionals, Our Voice identified the challenges people used to experience moving between GP and secondary mental health services. People said they wanted dynamic and responsive easy to access support when they felt their mental health was taking a downturn, as well as wrap around support with all the areas of their life affected by or which affects their mental health. That’s where they idea for the Keystone hubs was born.

Adults experiencing mental health challenges can draw on support from the Keystone hub thanks to NHS mental health professionals, Peers Support workers who have their own experience of mental health challenges and third-sector mental health services, in order to thrive among friends, family and their community. The Keystone hub is also linked to local GPs. Alongside mental health care there is also support with leisure and socialising, accommodation, finances, employment, training and education.

Even the name is thanks to Our Voice. A keystone is the central stone, or principle, which holds a building or system together, and just like its namesake the Keystone hub is the central pillar and the heart of local mental health and wellbeing care.

Leith Greig-Connor opened Wantage Keystone hub on behalf of all the members of Our Voice

Leith said: “I feel very proud to be opening the Wantage hub on behalf of all the Experts by Experience involved with developing the Keystone hubs. As Our Voice members, we hope the hubs will promote the accessibility of mental health care. I love seeing hubs on the high street because it shows that looking after your mental health is nothing to hide or feel ashamed of. Everyone’s mental health matters and getting the help we need is so important.”

Some Our Voice members have moved onto permanent paid roles as Peer Support Workers in the hub and will be on hand to welcome people going through similar experiences as their own. A regular men’s group is just one of the activities on the horizon.

Wantage Hub clinical lead Karlie Spice

Wantage clinical lead Karlie Spice said: “We are so pleased to open our doors to the local community and excited to share what support we can offer. The Keystone hubs are all about bringing mental health support and awareness to the heart of communities, quick access to help when and where people need it the most. I’m really looking forward to people popping in and being able to help people when they really need it.”

You can find out about your local Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing hub in Oxfordshire on the Oxford Health website: Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hubs.

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Published: 9 July 2024