Message from the Community Services Mental Health Framework Third Sector Alliance

It has been a busy few months since our last formal update, with the Third Sector Alliance input to the Community Services Mental Health Framework developing significantly, along with a greater understanding of Third Sector capability and the integral role that we play in underpinning the future of community mental health services.

The Third Sector model

Access Mental Health (the Third Sector model) will provide a ‘front door’ to consistent support for people accessing a range of mental health services, interventions, or support on their journey to better mental health. Access Mental Health is underpinned by the relationships held by Wellbeing Practitioners and Peer Support Workers as they support the person accessing mental health support to create their wider network of support. This is both a person-centred and asset-based approach to mental health.

Alongside offering support, our network of Mental Health and Peer Support specialists will build on community assets to meet mental health needs. We work alongside Primary and Secondary Care providers to join-up support and journey alongside people and their network of support. We share skills, knowledge, spaces, and learning with other third sector, voluntary and community focused organisations and groups, building sustainable partnerships and innovative ways of supporting mental health in our communities and asking: What is out there? What is strong? What can it teach us? How can we help it grow?


A key focus for us over the past few months has been recruitment of Service Managers, Wellbeing Practitioners and Peer Support Workers. In a challenging labour market, we have been pleased to recruit to a number of key roles, which will enable us to start mobilisation of Access Mental Health and establish firm foundations for future recruitment to be built on – we will be going out to recruitment in the early new year, so please do help us to advertise these roles and the exciting opportunities that this transformation represents.

Partnerships & Engagement

We have also been working hard on engaging with a range of partners and stakeholders. Through the subgroups of CSF Oversight Group, we have held detailed conversations to be with other key care pathways, such as 16-25, Primary Care, and SMI. This has helped us to further develop Access Mental Health, consider how interfaces and relationships will work between services, and further elucidate system requirements to support transformational change. We are working with Third Sector Infrastructure partners Bath & North East Somerset Third Sector Group (3SG), Voluntary Action Swindon, and Wessex Community Action, to engage with the wider Third Sector, looking at how Access Mental Health will operate in localities and draw on expertise from across the Third Sector to support people. This work is in turn supported by detailed asset mapping and the development of director of services in localities, with this work being led by Locality Mental Health Commissioners.


We know the importance of regular communication and we will be re-doubling our efforts on this front to ensure that you receive more regular updates from the Alliance, in a range of formats. In addition, we are supporting BSW CCG in developing a CSF website which we are contributing requirements to at the moment. The CSF and Access Mental Health needs to be distinguishable from other mental health support, as well as non-mental health-specific support, whilst being readily accessible. We are currently working with the CCG on extending hours of operation for existing support lines, and we are developing our communications material and approach to ensure that awareness of Access Mental Health is high by the time the service goes live.

We look forward to writing again in the new year when we will introduce our new Service Managers, along with more details of Access Mental Health.

With best wishes,

The Third Sector Alliance