Integrated Health Awards 2023: mental health initiative of the year

Now we come to finalists in the category of mental health initiative of the year

Emotional ABCs

Overview: Emotional ABCs aims to empower children with better emotional skills.

Why?  Through emotional awareness and control, children can make better decisions for their present and future.

What happened?  Emotional ABCs teaches emotional regulation to children between the ages of four and 11. The evidence-based programme is available to parents and schools and is currently free to teachers and school counsellors in physical schools worldwide. It is used in more than 118,000 schools across more than 120 countries, and therapists, mental health counsellors and hospitals also use the programme as part of their mental health strategies. It handles areas such as school readiness (including the ability to self-soothe and work through emotions, setting the foundation for social and academic success); frustration and acting out (helping children to recognise their emotions and express themselves); and impulse control (supplying children with simple tools in order to slow themselves down and identify feelings before taking action).

Looking ahead. Once children learn their emotional ABCs, they are set to use them every day for the rest of their lives, just as they do with the regular alphabet.


Overview. Verseone assisted a Wellbeing and Recovery College made up from a partnership of NHS, voluntary and community sector organisations, public sector partners and experts by experiencing across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, in building a website to demonstrate the breadth of the college’s courses and workshops.

Why? The aim of this project was to provide a platform for people living with mental health issues to access the tools and skills and understanding to drive forward their wellbeing and recovery whilst breaking down the stigmas attached to mental Health.

What happened?  The key to the project was providing a great learning experience for anyone booking on to the course and for 3rd sector organisation to be able to administer their own courses. The intention from the outset was to create a ‘gold standard’ amongst recovery colleges. The website now allows users to be able to search and match with courses provided by partners to promote positive mental health, with each course having it’s own landing page with all the course information dates and times allowing a smooth booking process, learners can register and book themselves onto the courses they need and view their progress in their learners dashboard. This further helps the leaners, through showing them the courses they have attended and promote and suggest other relevant courses. It also allows the tracking of their goals for attending the Recovery College courses. 

Looking ahead. The service is now equipped to deliver great services, making it easier for individuals to find what they are looking for and what they need, thus improving metal health outcomes.

Compass Wellbeing

Overview. Compass Wellbeing aims to bridge the gap between voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) and healthcare services. They achieve this by building capacity in the sector, improving the ability of VCSEs to engage with the trust, and facilitating partnership working; advancing a more integrated approach to tackling health inequalities.

Why? Compass Wellbeing’s mission is to improve quality of life, tackle social inequalities, and make a difference in our East London and Bedfordshire communities.

What happened? Compass Wellbeing set out to develop partnerships between East London NHS Foundation Trust and VCSEs across the trust’s footprint to support the redesign and transformation of community mental health teams. They developed a simple process for procurement including an ‘expression of interest’ phase where support was proactively provided to reduce drop out. A database of VCSEs was created to circulate information about funding opportunities, training sessions and networking events, and VCSEs were engaged directly and through partnerships to develop relationships across the trust’s footprint. Between July 2021 and July 2022, Compass Wellbeing ran 10 procurement programmes on behalf of the trust, with more than £6.6m funding awarded to VCSEs across the six boroughs; this totals 124 projects and contracts. Additionally, they facilitated the implementation of community connectors in mental health teams to support individuals to connect within their neighbourhoods and access a wide variety of local assets.

Looking ahead. Compass Wellbeing continues to work with organisations to review achievements and outcomes, attending experience sharing and networking events where organisations come together to talk about their projects. These opportunities are utilised to increase engagement with the sector.

My Possible Self

Overview: My Possible Self is a mental health app with an expanding collection of clinically-certified, interactive and accessible content developed with Priory Healthcare.

Why? Content on My Possible Self provides a library of interactive tools, helpful tips and visual and mental exercises to help users manage anxiety, tackle repression, reduce stress and improve sleep.

What happened?  My Possible Self was founded as an app in 2017 and listed in the NHS Apps Library in 2018. It took part in the NHS Digital Health London accelerator programme and won its first commission with the NHS to combat poor mental health in London, working with the Good Thinking Project. Good Thinking recommissioned My Possible Self. In 2021, the app was made available globally and has been downloaded in nearly 200 countries. It contains the following core guided series: Overcoming Anxiety; Tackling Depression; Managing Stress; Sleeping Well; Eating Healthily and Staying Hydrated; Keeping Active; Drinking Safely; Gambling Safely; Men’s Mental Health; and Coping with Loss and Grief.

Looking ahead. With the NHS facing record demand for mental health services, My Possible Self’s clinically-certified, interactive and accessible content from Priory Healthcare provides valuable support for people and is accessible 24/7, free of charge.