Mental Health Navigation is an established method for reducing pressure on primary care by supporting people to address their unmet non-clinical needs.

Mental Health Navigation is a model of support for people with mental illness who present at primary care with unmet non-clinical needs. This model builds on the well-established social prescribing model, offering a dedicated capacity to assist and empower people to access the right support, to manage a range of needs and social distresses that can affect an individual’s mental health and in doing so alleviates pressure on healthcare systems. 

Our pilot site has been within the Meridian Primary Care Network which is located in Grimsby where we also partnered with Navigo who are a social enterprise that provides mental health services to the NHS and across North East Lincolnshire 

The Tavistock Institute are currently completing an external evaluation of this model of support across four UK pilot sites. They have found that: 

  • Direct beneficiaries have decreased anxiety around social issues because non-clinical needs are being better met 
  • Direct beneficiaries’ engagement in and maintenance of positive health behaviours and better adherence to clinical and non-clinical treatments.  
  • Healthcare workers reported spending less time on non-clinical needs with patients.
  • Healthcare workers reported higher levels of job satisfaction as a result of the pilot.
  • Pressures on family members and carers reduced, indicating possible wellbeing benefits.  

We have developed a good practice guide on how to implement Mental Health Navigation together with our partner charities, Mental Health UK, MindWise, Support in Mind Scotland and Adferiad Recovery. 

The pilot Community Mental Health Navigator programme is funded by Johnson & Johnson in the UK and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation.

Download the toolkit

Download our toolkit and find out how you can embed mental health navigators in your primary care network.