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Collaboration for Change: Transforming the City Region’s Mental Health Support

The Liverpool City Region is world-renowned for delivering cutting-edge approaches to complex challenges, particularly in health and wellbeing.

At present, our region has a few big problems at hand – challenges that cannot be solved by one sector alone. The Liverpool City Region Civic Data Cooperative (CDC) want to work with a range of people and organisations to lift the lid on these challenges, listen to different perspectives and find new ways to address them.

Funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and hosted by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool, the Civic Data Cooperative works with local people to do better with data, using it to forge new ideas, improve service delivery and solve the big problems facing our city region today.

Following a successful pilot in 2022, CDC are bringing back the ‘What’s Your Problem’ programme for 2023 to focus on the region’s growing mental health crisis, taking a closer look at men and students. There is so much happening in the city region to support people; however, insight shows the gaps, the disconnects and the scale of the issues impacting local people experiencing these difficulties every day.

Through conversations with local businesses, frontline workers, voluntary organisations and public sector leads, CDC have gained an acute understanding of the difficulties these groups face in getting new ideas off the ground: not fully grasping the problem at hand; lacking the external support to take concepts to the next level; and disparity in working cultures between sectors all act as obstacles in making transformative change.

‘What’s Your Problem’ is a four-part programme specifically designed to remove these barriers and open doors between all those involved in health, care and community product & service design, creating the space to find solutions that truly work.

Those who participate will be invited to a series of events which provide an open forum to pick apart these problems, gather problem-solvers around them and light the spark for ideas that create new possibilities for people in mental health crisis – along with the opportunity to access up to £60k seed funding to make these ideas a reality.

For product and service designers, this is a chance to connect with the frontline workers and public sector leaders who have insight into the scale of the problem and to gain an in-depth understanding of the reality of the region’s mental health crisis.

‘What’s Your Problem’ presents a unique opportunity to think about product and service design that starts with the needs of the people of in mental health crisis and the challenges they face in the system around them. CDC want to encourage local businesses to “develop products for your customers, not find customers for your products” – whether that be creating something new, or repurposing an existing idea in the pipeline.

Gary Leeming, Director of Civic Data Cooperative, said:

“We want to use the collaborative energy of the LCR for the greater good. There are plenty of places for men and students to access support and advice across our region, with some amazing work happening.

“We want to focus on making it simpler to share intelligence and join up pathways across this support, to create a stronger, preventative approach. We want to focus on helping people to recognise the signs of deteriorating mental health before hitting a crisis point.”

Eleanor Fielding, Programme Manager at Civic Data Cooperative, added:

“’What’s Your Problem’ isn’t just about new introductions, or networking, but transforming how we approach the region’s biggest problems – we don’t want to just open doors between sectors; we want to take them off the hinges.”

The Civic Data Cooperative are inviting businesses, voluntary organisations, public sector leaders and those on the frontline to be a part of What’s Your Problem 2023. In February, we’ll mark the beginning of a new phase of thinking for mental health support in the region, starting with the ‘Problem Pick-Up’ event.

Find out more and sign up here.