Thinking Together for Mental Health

This project is in collaboration with West Berkshire Council and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust as well as input from the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group and service users. If you would like to see the press coverage that we’ve received from this event please visit our Press Coverage page.

Thinking Together 5 Report – Click here or on the image below to read the report.

Thinking Together 5 – November 19th 2020

We held our first online Thinking Together event on November 19th 2020 via Zoom.

The event started with a video going over what Thinking Together is, and has been about over the past few years. Followed by a poll, where we asked attendees “How are you feeling today?” Most people were feeling “okay”

We then went on to ask people how their Mental Health had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone attending was split up into small groups where they would discus this question for 20 minutes, going over the positives and negatives.

After the 20 minutes had expired, we then went over what each group had came up with. Positive impacts of the lockdown included being able to spend more with family and friends. While some of the negative affects on people’s Mental Health included the feeling of isolation, anxiety about work, lack of access to health services and more.

Once the discussion was finished we sent another poll around to the attendees to find out how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected their wellbeing. 50% of people said it had affected them negatively.

There was then a presentation from the Crisis Service Team, discussing a range of topics, including their 14 point plan, access to primary care services and more. Additional information was planned over the coming months with April being a key date for when we would get these additional details. Most people felt positive about the proposals made by the Crisis Team via our online poll.

As we are in the second lockdown, what would you like to see done differently from the first lockdown and what do you hope changes in the future?” – This was the question we then asked to attendees. Once again, people were split up into their groups, where they would discuss this question for 20 minutes and then come back with their thoughts and ideas.

Lockdown fatigue was highlighted, alongside a desire to keep pubs open. People said they would like to see more co-ordination between services to get easy information, while others said they would like to see more consistent messaging from government. Some people also highlighted the desire for better shielding and support for carers during a second lockdown. There were plenty of thoughts from people and a range of opinions in regards to this question.

Once this discussion was finished, we were then joined by our Local MP Laura Farris. Who said “there was no doubt that lockdown has had an effect on  people’s mental health” and that many of the issues mentioned today were in the minds of MPs. She then went on to talk about the future, saying that her priority for her constituents in West Berkshire going forward will be young people’s mental Health and CAMHS. Storage challenges of a Covid vaccine, alongside a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and more was also mentioned when looking to the future.

We concluded the event with a final poll, asking whether or not people thought the event was useful and enjoyable. We received a positive response.

Register now for Thinking Together 5

Join us at our 5th Thinking Together event on 19th November, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, focusing on “Crisis Service Review Update” and “How Covid-19 has effected your mental health”

Share your experiences and tell your successes and challenges. Let us know what improvements you would like to see to help manage your mental wellbeing in West Berkshire.

There will be panel of speakers from service providers giving updates from the ‘Crisis Review’ held in March 2018.

If you would like to register you can do so on Eventbrite.

Once you have registered, the Zoom link will be shared with you nearer the time of the event.

Want to know more, why not Phone ☎️: 01635886210 or Email 📧:

Thinking Together 5 postponed due to Coronavirus
NHS mental health crisis helpline for people in West Berkshire ‘is not effective’

The NHS mental health crisis helpline for people in Berkshire West is “not fit for purpose“, according to information published in the minutes of a meeting of the Berkshire West CCG (Clinical Commissioning Groups) governing body.

The issue was discussed at the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group governing body meeting in public, on 12 March 2019.

The CCG’s quality team undertook the visit of the crisis service and had described what they found as ‘shocking’.

These findings have emerged a year after we held our Thinking Together event to explore how mental health services can be better delivered West Berkshire.

More information can be found HERE

Thinking Together Co-Produced Crisis Review Report – June 25th 2018

Please click this image to read the Co-Produced Crisis Review report

Thinking Together Co-Produced Crisis Review – March 22nd 2018

We held a Thinking Together event – “Thinking Together co-produced crisis review” on March 22nd at Newbury Baptist Church, between 10:30am – 1:30pm.  We thank everyone who attended.

The agenda for this event can be seen by clicking HERE.

At the start of the event people were asked what “Crisis” means to them. They would write their answer on a note and place it on a poster. The location that the note was placed on was linked to seriousness, for example, the most serious crisis were placed at the top of the poster, while the least serious were placed at the bottom.

You may see photos of the two posters below, click the photos to enlarge them.

Photos of poster 1

 Photos of poster 2


Additional photos of this event can be found below.


We also took some video footage.


This Crisis Team Q&A video was fairly long, so we broke it down into smaller videos which you can watch below.

In this video, one person says that in his experience there hadn’t been proper communication between the groups in the Crisis Team.  In the response, a description was given about some of the groups and what they do. There was an acknowledgement that there may be communications issues and that it is being worked on.
 Kathryn Dundas from 8bells for mental health says – “I’ve been in a post for 5 years, I have to say the crisis service has continually let our members down.” she goes on to express her frustration.

An apology was given in response, followed by a suggestion to share contact details in order to try to establish a solution to the problems.

 Another person expressed frustration with the Crisis Team and made the point that he didn’t understand what to do and how to complain.

The representative from the Crisis Team pointed out that there was a complaints procedure and suggested to the individual that he should speak to a colleague of his about the issue.

 In the following video more problems were expressed about the Crisis Team. “I feel as a volunteer, I’m often not taken seriously” says the person asking the question.

Once again, an apology was given in response, followed by an offer to share contact details in order to try to fix the problem.

Further discontent was expressed about the Crisis Team here. Listen to one persons emotional experience by watching the video.

Thinking Together Action for Mental Health – November 30th 2017

We held an event for users of West Berkshire Mental Health services to provide feedback since the last Thinking Together in May 2017. This event was open to Service users, families and carers, voluntary agencies and professionals to attend. This event was co-host by Brighter Berkshire, West Berks Council, Berkshire Health-care Foundation Trust and Newbury and District CCG.   To see the agenda for this event, click the image below on the left.

Thinking Together Agenda         

As you can see from the agenda above, we had plenty of different activities, for example the image to the right of agenda details one of our activities called “Table work Activity”

At 11:50 we had “Table work Activity” For this part of our event, each table had a different activity attached to it that people participated in. Once people arrived at the start of the event at 10:00, they needed to register to a table with an activity that interested them, which would be the activity that they would participate in. The image next to agenda is a list of each table along with it’s activity.

We took some video footage of this event, including footage of some of the discussions about the table activities, as well as some pictures.

Here are the pictures that we took during this event, including feedback about the event that we obtained immediately after it was over. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Here is video footage of the event that was taken.

To see the report that was produced after Action for Mental Health was completed click the image below.

Thinking Together Action for mental health

Thinking Together Thatcham Catholic Hall 18th May Report

Please find the report of the ‘Thinking Together’ Event held at Thatcham Catholic Hall 18th May 11.00am- 2.00pm. It was co-produced using the actual views expressed by all who attended and makes many recommendations and provides a ‘Way Forward’ , with a hope that Community Mental Health services will change and improve in the future.

Please click the following image to read the Thinking Together 18th May Report

Please click the following image to read the ‘Report Workshop’ Recommendations Report

Thinking Together – ‘Your voice for Mental Health’

We held an event on Thursday 18th May 11am-2pm at Thatcham Catholic Hall, for users of West Berkshire Mental Health services to ask questions and provide feedback about their experience since ‘ New Ways of Working’ was introduced across Adult Social Care. The event was open to Service users, families and carers, voluntary agencies and professionals to attend. It was co-host by West Berkshire Council, Berkshire Health-care Foundation Trust and Newbury and District CCG, who were speakers at the event.



We would like to thank all who attended on the day, and especially  Jackie Wilkinson (Open for Hope and West Berkshire Independent Living), Adrian Barker ( Lay Member Newbury CCG and Time2Talk), Dr Anees Pari ( Interim Head of West Berkshire Public Health and Well Being), Alison Foster ( Chair of Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health 2017 and Chair of Healthwatch West Berkshire) and our very own Alice Kunjappy-Clifton for all their hard work compiling the report.

Do let us know your thoughts on the report  by emailing , please put Thinking Together in the subject Line or calling 01635 886 210

To download and view Anees Paris PowerPoint slides from the Thinking together Voice For Mental Health event click HERE.

Thinking Together: Mental Health Services Questionnaire

This survey is now closed. Click the picture below to read the report based on your responses.

Thinking Together Event: 6th July 2016, Newbury Baptist Church

We held an event for users of West Berkshire Mental Health services to ask questions about the proposed New Ways of Working across Adult Social Care. The event was well attended by service users, families and carers, and professionals. Please read our report below following this event, complete with responses from West Berkshire Council, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Newbury and District CCG, who were speakers at the event.

Click the image below to read the Thinking Together 2016 – Feedback and Response Report