An NHS bus has begun a 12-day tour of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to help encourage people to embrace their mental health journey.
The bus, dubbed the ‘Making People Better Bus’ began its 16 stop journey on Monday, visiting Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre, and Melton Mowbray’s Waterfield Everyone Active Leisure Centre on Monday and Tuesday.
Today (Wednesday, October 4) the bus will be stationed at Market Harborough’s Everyone Active Centre. It will be pulling up in Leicester City Centre on World Mental Health Day, next Tuesday 10 October.
From the bus, a team of mental health professionals from Vita Health Group – the organisation that provides the NHS Talking Therapies Service in LLR – will provide a safe and confidential environment for people to chat about their mental health.
People who live in the region can pre-book or drop-in for quick, one-to-one mental health consultations and referrals on the bus, getting them closer to the support they need. The average wait for a referral with the LLR NHS Talking Therapies service is normally 10 days.
In addition, Vita Health Group encourages anyone with a question about mental health – whether it be their own or someone else’s – and those who would like to find out more about the NHS Talking Therapies service, to hop on and speak with them. People are also welcome to pick up information about the service to takeaway and digest in their own time.
The ‘Making People Better Bus’ campaign is the latest initiative from Vita Health Group to tackle mental health inequalities and ensure everyone has the opportunity to prioritise their mental wellbeing, ultimately improving access to support.
Principal clinical lead for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland NHS Talking Therapies service, Brendan Street, said: “The theme of World Mental Health Day on 10th October is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’. The ‘Making People Better Bus’ is part of a wider initiative to make mental health support accessible to everyone, by bringing help to peoples’ doors and engaging directly with individuals in their own communities. By working closely with key partners in the LLR community, we hope to reach more than 50,000 people over 12 days.
“Unfortunately, mental ill health is common. Yet many people still find it difficult to talk about, fear being judged, or are unaware that their difficulties can be helped. As a result, this can prevent people from accessing support. Our experienced, and friendly, mental health team will be on board the bus to discuss worries, answer questions and support people in a safe and judgement-free space. Taking care of mental health is a journey and we’re here to support people every step of the way.”
Since April 2021, Vita Health Group has received more than 69,000 patient referrals, and has treated almost 57,000 patients, via the LLR NHS Talking Therapies service. In 2023 alone, the healthcare provider has received nearly 20,000 referrals and has treated more than 18,200 new patients.
A list of the destinations the bus will be stopping at over the coming days is below:
Thursday 5 October | 9am-1pm | Parklands Everyone Active Parklands EA Centre Washbrook Lane, Wigston Road, Oadby LE2 5QG
Thursday 5 October | 2pm-5pm | Christ the King Church Beaumont Way, Beaumont Leys, Leicester LE4 1DS
Friday 6 October | 9am-5pm | Lutterworth Everyone Active Centre Coventry Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4RB
Saturday 7 October | 9am-5pm | Enderby Everyone Active Leisure Centre Mill Lane, Enderby LE19 4LX
Monday 9 October | 9am-2pm | Leicestershire and Rutland County Football Association, Dog & Gun Lane, Leicester LE8 6FA
Monday 9 October | 2:30pm-5pm | LOROS Hospice Groby Rd, Leicester, LE3 9QE
Tuesday 10 October | 9am-5pm | Leicester City Centre Humberstone Gate between Primark and M&S – LE1 1WL
Wednesday 11 October | 9am-1pm | Leicester Royal Infirmary – drop off – area outside of the small 1771 car park on the approach to paediatric
Wednesday 11 October | 1:30-5pm | Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9QP
Thursday 12 October | 9am-1pm | Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Glenfield Hospital Site, Groby Road, Leicester. LE3 9EJ (parked outside the second entrance, that leads outpatients into the Olanzapine clinics.)
Thursday 12 October | 1:30-5pm | Loughborough Hospital, Hospital Way, Loughborough LE11 5JY
Friday 13 October | location tbc
Saturday 14 October | Market Place, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1XD