Wellbeing promotion benefiting mental health service users

The All Right? campaign’s wellbeing messages are benefiting those requiring specialist mental health support, a new evaluation has found. 

The All Right? campaign was established to support people to look after their wellbeing following the stresses and pressures caused by the Canterbury earthquakes.

Canterbury District Health Board research has shown that the All Right? campaign’s mental health promotion messages support the mental health of tangata whaiora - those with lived experience of mental illness and distress.

All Right? manager Sue Turner says there’s a misconception that wellbeing promotion is for people who are currently well.

“What this evaluation shows is that wellbeing promotion also benefits those experiencing poor mental health.”

Turner says All Right?  has always taken a population-wide view.

 “Over the last six and a half years our focus has been on supporting those who do not require specialist services, but who would benefit from information and advice so they can bring their natural coping mechanisms to the fore,” says Ms Turner.

“What this research shows is that done well, mental health promotion can benefit everyone, including mental health service users. Wherever you’re at with your mental health, growing your understanding of how to look after your wellbeing, and being prompted to do more of the things that make you feel good, does make a difference.”

The evaluation involved those engaged with Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support (MHAPS).

Turner said a key finding was that the All Right? campaign had contributed to tangata whaiora thinking about themselves more positively. The campaign was also valued by tangata whaiora for its high visibility, which ‘provided constant reminders to think positively especially when feeling mentally distressed.’

One respondent described the campaign as ‘almost a secondary treatment for me, ‘cos every time I see them it reminds me to think about myself and how I’m doing’.

Some 81 per cent of service users who completed the survey were aware of the All Right? campaign. Of those aware of the campaign, 83 per cent felt the campaign was useful, while 68 per cent of the respondents had done activities as a result of what they had seen or heard from the All Right? campaign. 

Turner said the evaluation reinforces the need for greater investment in strengths-based approaches that help build resilience and improve mental health for all.

“Improving the health and wellbeing of the population takes a cross-sector, whole-of-community approach and is not just the responsibility of healthcare services. Investing more in strengths-based approaches can positively contribute to improving population wellbeing.”

The evaluation report was prepared for All Right? and Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support (MHAPS) by the Information Team Community & Public Health, CDHB.

Click here to read the evaluation.