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    A new community survey has just been launched as part of South London Listens to help find the solutions to the impact Covid-19 has had on the mental health of our communities.

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SWLSTG Writing Room 

Making Life Better Together in 2021

Ian Garlington, Integrated Programme Director, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust
Preparing for the new year always feels like an opportunity to take a moment to be mindful of the things that we have done in the recent past and consider how to do them in the future with more resilience and greater certainty for all our people.

The challenges have been immense, and it has been heartening to see how our communities have pulled together time and time again throughout the pandemic. Looking back over 2020 it would be understandable to think only of the ways we had to adapt just to keep our services going, but in reality we have done so much more.

The development of Springfield Village is now a year old and the progress is unmissable on-site with new hospitals taking shape at its heart, and the overall layout of the village beginning to emerge. Set to open during 2022, these hospitals will provide a range of inpatient services, designed to deliver the most modern mental health care in the country. Beyond this we look forward to refurbishments in Richmond and Barnes and the development of new facilities at Tolworth. These will give people the best chance to recover in the best environment, and support our staff to deliver the outstanding care our patients deserve from us.

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In addition, we are working with our construction partners to bring forward the development of hundreds of new homes, retail facilities and a new 32-acre park for Tooting, creating a new mixed-used community. As we bring Springfield Village to life we are also starting some exciting community engagement projects that will provide a range of benefits and opportunities for local people. Earlier this month for example, we launched a community competition to find names for our new hospitals.

More than just buildings, we are working hard to foster mentally healthy cultures and communities in Wandsworth and across South West London. We are partnering on a groundbreaking new mental health prevention campaign, bringing forward a long-term action plan to promote and protect mental health across the region. We are taking advantage of new technologies to improve our services and working in more agile ways to suit both our staff and patients. And we are beginning to look hard at how we can improve synergies between our community and inpatient services to improve the care we deliver.

We are hopeful for the coming years; working to be innovative in the way we provide our services, and inclusive in the way our teams will work to promote wellness. We want each and every person we work with to know that their care is personalised, supporting their recovery and ongoing wellbeing.

Overall, 2021 will be an important year for our Trust and the people we serve as our Integrated Programme develops. It’s a year that we will see us build on the changes made in 2020 and evolve them into our everyday operations and our lives. Looking beyond the pandemic, we are committed to supporting our communities to recover from the effects of Covid-19 by boosting local healthcare, training, employment and purchasing wherever we can.

We also want to say thank you to all our staff and community to partners who have helped us to rise to the challenges of the pandemic, and adapt at pace with safety at the core of all of our work. 

Springfield Village symbolises an important evolution in the care we deliver and we look forward to sharing in the benefits that our innovations and investments will bring to south west London in the years to come. As all the various elements and changes come together, we remain clear in our mission and our vision – we will make life better together.

You can find more information on the transformations happening via the Trust’s website and at


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Mental Health Month 

1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their life. We should not be afraid to “talk about it".

Every year the Trust  celebrates World Mental Health Day to demonstrate our support for challenging stigma South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) and  celebrate October Mental Health Month with events across our sites to raise awareness of mental health and to stamp out stigma across south west London.  Download our Full 2018 Event Calendar here.

We  also run our popular digital photography competition - #upliftingimage - where local schools, youth organisations, staff and members of the public can send in an image that makes them smile and uplifts their mood. The theme this year is "young people and mental health in a changing world". View this year's winners 

This year we supported a number of events across south west London throughout October, including:

  • Our annual #Upliftingimage digital photography competition which is open to local schools, public and staff. The competition closed on 10 October. The theme for 2018 iwas contentment – what does it mean to you?
  • An exhibition celebrating Black History Month at the Evolve BME Staff Conference including internal and external speakers.
  • Recovery College  courses for staff, patients, their carers and family throughout the month.
  • World Mental Health Day: staff and patients from our Deaf services will express their experiences of mental health problems on canvas. The session will take place at the Recovery College on 10 October.
  • Weekly social media posts and animations.
  • 10th annual Healing our broken village conference 25 October.
  •  and many more.

Keep up to date  on facebook and twitter.

#Upliftingimage Digital Photography Competition 

Each year we run our digital photography competition #upliftingimage which is open to everyone living across our five boroughs - Sutton, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Wandsworth. 

This is a chance to talk positively about mental health and go into the running to win a prize.  The idea is to inspire, explore and talk about it.  

If you have any queries about mental health month or would like to collaborate on events next year, please email

Campaigns - tackling stigma


Anyone can be affected by mental health at any point in life and even if you haven’t had a mental health issue yourself, you probably know someone who has. As Trust we run a number of campaigns throughout the year. 

We are determined to challenge stigma and discrimination and raise awareness of mental health issues and each year we work with local partners to campaign for changes to policy and legislation, working with other professionals to improve the lives of those living with mental health problems nationwide. 

Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May)

Every year we support mental health Awareness Week. Find out more about living with depression from Chris, our Associate Director of HR.



#Upliftingimage Digital Photography Competition 

After the success of last year’s digital photo competition, we would like to invite you to take part in this year competition to support World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2019 and the national Time to Change campaign.

One in four people will be affected by mental illness in any year, and around one in ten children experience a mental health problem at any one time (that is three pupils in the average school classroom). We hope through our competition to help raise awareness of mental health issues within the community, particularly in schools.

This year we are running a competition themed “Body image – how we think and feel about our bodies.” Having body image concerns is a relatively common experience and can be a risk factor for mental health problems. Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders. The photos can include exercise activities, healthy eating or even a walk in the park.

New online surveys were conducted in March 2019 and the results highlighted that: 

  • One in five adults felt shame, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year. 
  • Among teenagers, 37% felt upset, and 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
  • Just over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious or depressed because of their body.


This is a chance to talk positively about mental health and go into the running to win a prize. The idea is to inspire, explore and talk about it.  We want #UpliftingImage to help raise awareness of peoples connection with mental health through photography. The aim of the campaign is to get as many people to share a picture that helps to promote a better understanding of mental health.

We hope to use this collection of photographs to: promote better understanding around mental health; highlight that through support, understanding and positive messages we can help people and challenge stigma; and demonstrate that everyone has an uplifting image that can lift their mood.

We hope that this competition is something that you are interested in entering. To submit a photograph to the competition please click here .

We will hold a prize-giving afternoon on Friday 25 October at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, attended by local media and competition winners, where we will display the winning images.  The closing date for entries is Thursday 10 October 2019. 

If you have any queries about the competition, please email

Mental Health Month

We support the national anti-stigma campaign - Time to Change - and each year we dedicate the month of October to celebrating mental health, tackling discrimination and raising awareness to encourage people to talk about mental health issues. Find out more.


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