Colab Connect

Project information

A Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Pilot for Exeter

What is the project about?

Colab Exeter is hosting a one year project, starting September 2020,  which will bring together different organisations to co-design and test new ways of providing a ‘community response’ to mental health support in Exeter.

The pilot draws on the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ and ‘Community Mental Health Framework for Adult and Older Adults’ which recognise that the way that the way mental health services are delivered in communities needs to be transformed. They call for a radical redesign of community-based mental health provision which also makes the most of community resources.

What is the aim?

To co-design and test a co-located community mental health and wellbeing offer which makes the most of community resources in the current context and beyond.

The vision is that people will be able to

  • Access mental health care where and when they need it and move through the system easily
  • Manage their condition or move towards individual recovery on their own terms
  • Contribute and be participants in in their own community.

What will it look like?

The Colab Connected (COCO) project has three objectives

  1. COCO Online

Establish a telephone and online mental health support service, which will take calls from the public. The staff member will be able to listen, respond proactively and connect the person with information, activities or support. They will work with existing mental health support services.

  1. COCO Response

Mental health and wellbeing team members from across different secondary mental health and community services will be co-located and will work together to provide an integrated community support offer.

The aim is that both of the above services will be co-designed by the partners involved, tested and reviewed with quarterly reflection cycles, so that the service can be rapidly adapted and improved as it evolves to best meet needs.

  1. COCO Enable

The Colab core team will host both of the above projects, integrate partners and activities into the community, facilitate learning and development and manage the action learning process that is at the heart of the project. They will be responsible for gathering data, facilitating the co-design, implementation and evaluation process and coordinating the collaborative funding of the initiative longer term.

Who is involved?

The partners already engaged in the project are listed below, but we welcome new organisations and community groups who would like to be involved.

  • Devon Mind
  • Devon Partnership Trust
  • Devon County Council
  • Exeter Community Initiatives
  • Colab Exeter
  • Exeter City Council
  • Talkworks
  • Wellbeing Exeter
  • Julian House
  • The Club – Exeter Mental Health Community Hub
  • Individuals involved in art and social enterprise within the local community

Here is a short film from the Colab Connect Co-Design Group Introductory Session:

Haiku - Reflections on “Who am I, How am I, How do we Become a Learning Community”

Interested in Being Involved?

We are excited to be bringing together representatives from across the current mental health system to co-design a new offer that draws on existing community resources and aims to improve experiences. We would welcome other organisations or individuals with lived experience who would like to become part of the project.

If you are interested in being involved or would like to know more please contact us 



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