Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: National charity leaders visit the NHS’s stigma-breaking Springfield Village
Leaders from six national mental health charities visited the new Springfield Village at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust yesterday to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.
Chief Executives and senior leaders from Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, SANE, and Young Minds visited the brand-new Trinity building, at Springfield Hospital in Tooting and toured the wider Springfield Village.
Springfield Village is a new mixed-used community made up of new mental health facilities, over 800 new homes, shops and a new 32-acre public park. It is the largest urban development in London since the 2012 Olympics and has been designed in collaboration with staff, patients and local people over a number of years to break down barriers and open up the Springfield site for the benefit of the community.
Commenting on the visit, Trust Chief Executive Vanessa Ford said, “It was a pleasure to welcome our national charity leaders to Springfield as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week.
“We are extremely proud of everything we have achieved with our partners in creating Springfield Village. Bringing our services closer to the people we serve symbolises just how far we have come as a society in changing attitudes and breaking the enduring stigma around mental illness. That is in large part thanks to the dedicated campaigning and advocacy work of these fantastic organisations over a number of years. We still have a way to go and it is so important we work across organisational and societal boundaries to build on this momentum.
“Springfield is just the start of our journey to transform local mental health services. We are excited to bring forward further investments this year, as we enhance and expand community mental health services and redevelop Barnes and Tolworth Hospitals.”
During the visit the group toured the Trinity building, which is part a £150m investment in local mental health services. They also saw some of the 20 specially commissioned artworks recently installed throughout the building and visited staff and patients at the Trust’s specialist Deaf service in Bluebell Ward. This was followed by a walk around the wider development and the new 32-acre park.
Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said, “People who need mental health inpatient treatment have traditionally been isolated from the local community in outdated hospitals which aren’t designed to meet their needs. Springfield Village has been built with the input of people experiencing severe mental illness and has the potential to break the mould.
“It’s also really encouraging to see plans to integrate the hospital into the local community, which will help efforts to break down stigma that still has a tangible impact on people’s lives. We welcome the investment and careful consideration that has gone into ensuring people feel as comfortable and safe as possible during their treatment, and we await feedback from people who use this service as it could provide a blueprint for other plans in development across the country.”
Alexa Knight, Director of England at the Mental Health Foundation said, “It was wonderful to see this development which has so much potential for local people as well as for those directly supported by the hospital.
“The Trust is breaking down barriers and driving better mental health for everyone, which is great to see.”
The official opening for Springfield Village will take place on 5 July as part of a special community event as South West London and St George’s takes part in national celebrations to mark the NHS’s 75th Birthday.
Overall, the development is a key part of the Trust’s wider transformation programme which is facilitating more than £1bn of investment in regeneration across healthcare, education, and urban development – boosting the local economy and delivering lasting social, commercial and wellbeing benefits for people in South West London.
Find out more about the Trust’s plans to transform mental health services in South West London
About South West London and St George’s
- South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust serves 1.2m people across the boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, and Wandsworth. It supports one of the most diverse populations in London and this is reflected in its workforce of more than 2,500 staff.
- Across its 120 clinical teams the Trust provides care to 20,000 people in South West London in at any given time. Services are delivered across:
- Acute and Urgent Care Services
- Community Services (for adults largely of working age)
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and all age Eating Disorders Services
- And a Specialist Service Line which includes Forensics, Deaf Services, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Neuropsychiatry, Cognition and Mental Health in Ageing and Neurodevelopmental services.
- The Trust is committed to addressing entrenched health inequalities and becoming actively anti-racist. It aspires to work hand in hand with communities, patients and their carers through co-production and engagement.
- The Trust has been at the forefront of mental health transformation for a number of years. This includes developing new mental health facilities and investing in community services to help more people to live well and stay well in their community, closer to their support networks.
About Springfield Village
- Springfield Hospital in Wandsworth is changing and is becoming part of a new stigma-breaking community called Springfield Village.
- Springfield Village will eventually include:
- Two state-of-the-art mental health buildings, Trinity and Shaftesbury – delivering best-in-class facilities
- A 32-acre public park featuring a pavilion café, an amphitheatre, youth shelter, play areas, sensory garden, trim trail and much more – providing excellent outdoor space for the community
- Shops and cafés – amenities for everyone to use
- Hundreds of new homes, including affordable homes – providing homes for the borough of Wandsworth
- A new care home – supporting the wider community
- Land for a new school – investing in our children’s future
- And investment in local transport facilities – boosting transport links for residents.
- By 2026 this will see Springfield transformed into a vibrant new community with mental health at its heart.
- The Springfield Village development is led by Master Developer STEP (The Springfield and Tolworth Estates Partnership) in collaboration with the Trust and partners including Sir Robert McAlpine, Barratt London, London Square, Lawrence Baker and City & Country.