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About Living Well

The Living Well system of support

Why do we need new systems of mental health support?

During the Living Well UK programme, our team visited half a dozen local mental health systems across the UK. We saw, heard and learnt from brilliant people doing seriously difficult work with limited resources inside the current mental health system. Perhaps the most inspiring stories we heard are those of people recovering from mental illness, emotional distress and trauma, who all want to work for a system that is better.

We identified a set of false choices and gaps in the current system which drive how services are delivered.

What is a Living Well system of support?

The programme is helping to build Living Well systems of support that put people's strengths and lived experience at the centre and are designed to help people recover and stay well as part of their community. 

Living Well systems of support are distinguishable by a set of key features:

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Are accountable for people centred outcomes that promote choice, recovery and citizenship



See people as citizens within communities, rather than ‘patients’ or ‘professionals’

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Put the voice of lived experience at the centre of services and
the system



Activate supportive
social networks



Provide timely access to
support where it is needed 



Work collaboratively
and flatten hierarchies

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Work holistically, building up
and on people’s strengths



Have permission to test
and learn together

Read more about Lambeth Living Well, which was launched in 2010 and has radically transformed mental health services in Lambeth, south London, towards a Living Well system.

Explore case studies from inspiring places in the UK and abroad that are implementing approaches that share these features.

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