MindWell Rebuild and Refresh

Jane Wood

7th July 2021

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MindWell is celebrating its fifth birthday in October and with funding from Leeds Better Care Fund, we have been working with the digital agency HMA to move MindWell over to Wordpress. During this time we have refreshed the design and made the content more accessible whilst the new platform provides greater flexibility in evolving the service to meet future needs. 

The new site went live on 6 April 2021 followed by a launch event on 13 May during Mental Health Awareness week hosted by mHabitat and Volition who work together to produce Mindwell. We took this opportunity to show off MindWell’s new birthday suit with a whistle stop tour of the new site and shared some informative user statistics. The guest panel including Sara Munro, CE of the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Alison Lowe Chief Executive Touchstone and Hannah Davies Chief Executive of Healthwatch Leeds shared their perspectives on MindWell and the use of digital to support people living with mental health difficulties.

Since 2016, when MindWell first launched as the ‘go to place’ for mental health information for people in Leeds it has had over 1 million visits and grown to become an integral part of the local health and care system. The site has seen a significant increase in visits during lockdown with the Coronavirus mental health information hub page having nearly 5,000 visits in the first month alone. The timely arrival of the new platform provides improved navigation and surfacing of information along with a range of new features and functions to help people easily find the services and support they need, in what are for many, challenging times.

To further share the comprehensive resources that MindWell has to offer the people of Leeds, the new platform has been developed to integrate with LOOP (Leeds Open Online Platform). LOOP is being led by the Leeds City Digital Partnerships Team and has been developed to provide a way for the city’s local authority, voluntary sector and private partners to collaborate on a shared information repository.

Co-design is at the heart of mHabitat’s work and at the outset we facilitated the co-design of the platform working with people across Leeds to understand their needs to build a vision for MindWell. As the platform has evolved we have continued with our people centred focus and have delivered a range of co-design activities during the rebuild to test and refine sections of the new website. In February and March we ran two online workshops to gain insight from people who have experienced a mental health crisis and representatives from Healthwatch and Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service to redesign the ‘Need urgent help?’ page which is now live on the site.  

“Thank you so much again for the meaningful experience of contributing to the look of the Mindwell crisis page” - Workshop participant

We have also been speaking with Leeds GPs to get feedback about the GP section and better understand how they use the site with their patients.  Several suggestions were made about improving MindWell content and ways in which the site can be effectively promoted to GPs/primary care practitioners to further embed the platform within the city. If you are a GP or primary care practitioner we would welcome the opportunity to have an informal conversation with you about how you use MindWell. Drop us a line on wearemhabitat@gmail.com

“I have MindWell open on my desktop everyday” - Leeds GP

mHabitat and Volition are now starting to plan the next phase of MindWell focusing our activity on working with others to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need about mental health services. mHabitat will be working with NHSE on overcoming this issue through co-designing inclusive digital transformation in the next year which will inform the ongoing development of MindWell.

If you would like to find out more about developing local digital information platforms about mental health and local services or find out more about our work drop us a line on wearemhabitat@gmail.com

Jane Wood

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