Wellbeing Centres

Mental health support for people in Liverpool

Our Wellbeing Centres provide recovery-focused mental health support to people living in Liverpool.

We can help people experiencing the challenges of living with anxiety, depression and other forms of emotional distress.

Recovery can take time, so we provide safe, nurturing spaces, enabling people to heal, understand, gain control and move forward with renewed meaning and purpose in life. People are invited to attend our recovery courses to learn new techniques, strategies and skills with support from others.

What kind of mental health support do we offer?

We have a variety of courses to suit a wide range of people:

Personal development courses: enabling people to recognise and develop their own personal resourcefulness, resilience and talents. These range from anxiety management and coping with depression to mindfulness and assertiveness.

Arts and creative courses: we believe that everyone is creative and that creativity can play a powerful role in a person’s mental health recovery, so we offer a range of courses that help people express themselves.

Peer-support groups: the people we support benefit from two sorts of expertise: professional and personal. Peer-led groups enable people with personal experience of mental distress to offer and receive support from each-other.

What are the benefits of using PSS Wellbeing Centres?

Referring someone to the PSS Wellbeing Centres:

  • gives them cost-effective access to our team of brilliant psychological therapists and wellbeing practitioners, who can support them to move towards recovery;
  • supports them to improve their economic situation and manage practical issues such as debt or housing;
  • promotes social inclusion and helps people stay connected to their communities;
  • reduces revolving-door patients;
  • encourages people to feel more in control and able to manage their own health and wellbeing;
  • supports people to become more physically active;
  • provides a safe, nurturing space for them to talk about what they’re experiencing; and
  • allows people experiencing emotional distress to meet others who have experienced similar things.

How do we assess the needs of the people we support?

When we meet someone new, we assess where they’re at and what their needs are. Not only does this help us meet them, but it also helps us to see how we can measure their progress.

General Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (the GAD): The GAD is made up on a number of questions which ask people about their anxiety over the previous weeks. It asks about things like anxiety levels, how worried people are, and how easy they find it to relax.

Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMBWS): WEMWBS is a self-assessment tool which is used to assess mental wellbeing. It asks about how people have been feeling about different areas of their life over the previous few weeks.

Patient Health Questionnaire (the PHQ): The PHQ is another self-assessment tool which looks at levels of depression. It asks about things like how people are feeling generally, how easy they find it to concentrate and what activities they have been doing.

We repeat these assessments at key points in a person’s journey with us. This helps us make sure we’re doing everything we can and assess the impact our support is having on that person.

Where is our mental health support based?

The Umbrella Centre (or ‘The Brolly’, as we like to call it): The Brolly is on Mount Pleasant in Liverpool City Centre. It’s a place of calm where a lot of our courses are delivered.

Dutch Barn: Dutch Barn is a wooden cabin surrounded by greenery and allotments in Garston, South Liverpool. Being surrounded by nature has proven benefits to our wellbeing, and with its big windows and leafy-green surroundings, Dutch Barn perfectly captures this.

Success stories

Mo’s story

Mo was referred to the service by a trainee in psychiatry from Baird House with

a diagnosis of anxiety. He was at university training to be a doctor but his social

anxiety was causing him to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. This was having a

detrimental impact on his attendance and performance at University.

During his meeting to create his wellbeing plan his goal was to learn to manage his social anxiety and be more disciplined around meditation and relaxation. PSS helped create the plan and completed the outcome tools with him. His GAD score was 13/21 which is a moderate level of anxiety and his PHQ score was 13/27 which indicates a moderate level of depression.

Mo attended the Wellbeing Centres for 6 sessions of anxiety management and the case notes showed he was feeling more optimistic about the future, dealing with problems well and thinking more clearly. At his Wellbeing Review five months later his GAD score had reduced to 5/21 (mild anxiety) and his PHQ score has gone down to 3/27 (minimal level of depression).

We later received an email from Mo to thank us for running the anxiety course.

‘I have learned a great deal and will continue to use these techniques every day. Just as an update, I honestly feel like I manage my anxiety very well now; I feel like I am 95% there.  It does infuriate me that a lot of GPs do not know about services like yours. I will take it upon myself to make GPs aware as I do my placements, considering how much I have learned to manage day to day situations. I can’t put a value on how much I have been helped by your service. I will of course be sending a donation, when I start work (I am a little short as a student!)’

Mo has since left the service and successfully returned to his studies.

Bob’s story

Bob had social phobia and depression and was a long-term user of the Wellbeing Centres, attending for peer support. Bob had received a letter inviting him in for an Employment Support Agency (ESA) assessment.

The Wellbeing Centre staff had written a supporting letter for Bob explaining why we did not feel he was currently fit for work. Bob was extremely anxious about his medical assessment and this was made worse when two appointments for his ESA medical assessment were cancelled at short notice.

On the first occasion his appointment was cancelled in the waiting room on the day, and on the second occasion by telephone 45 minutes beforehand. The second cancellation left Bob feeling that his anxiety was out of control. He was unable to distract himself from the worrying thoughts associated with future appointments and the potential negative outcome. Bob attended the centre in a distressed state saying he was exhausted through lack of sleep and that he had been snapping at his elderly mother due to his heightened anxiety. He sent the team emails at 4 o’clock in the morning, needing reassurance, telling us how frightened he was for the future.

We wrote a further letter to the decision-maker outlining our concern at witnessing Bob’s mental health deteriorate as a result of a mishandled process, requesting they make a positive decision in favour of him without having to undergo a further medical assessment. We also encouraged him to talk to his GP and he requested an emergency appointment and was prescribed sleeping tablets to help him get through the process at the time. As a result of our supportive intervention, Bob was awarded the support group of ESA without a medical assessment. He experienced a positive outcome for both his anxiety and his economic wellbeing.

How to refer people to our Wellbeing Centres

We take referrals from professionals such as:

  • GPs
  • social workers;
  • community nurses; and
  • psychiatrists

To refer, please fill out a referral form and send it to: wellbeingcentres@pss.org.uk