Measuring wellbeing briefing; ONS results published

Why is the ONS measuring wellbeing?           

Feeling good and doing well in life are related, so measuring mental wellbeing is as important as measuring GDP, physical health and employment rates. People are more productive and healthier when they feel good about themselves and others. They are also more resilient to life’s difficulties such as family problems, unemployment and ill health. Good mental wellbeing is good for us all. Local authorities need to know they are promoting the mental wellbeing of their residents and health services need to promote and protect wellbeing to support recovery and self management.

What have they found?

Unemployed people rate their ‘life satisfaction’ as less than 7 out of 10 compared with only 20% of employed people. Those who own property report higher levels of life satisfaction. The ethnic group with the lowest average ‘life satisfaction’ was the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British group. Having a partner appears to be related to improved subjective wellbeing. People also place high importance on health in relation to their sense of wellbeing.  See

What do we know about Lambeth’s wellbeing from our own surveys?

In 2011, 774 residents were asked to rate their health, life satisfaction and wellbeing in our residents’ survey. For mental wellbeing, when compared to data from the North West, respondents in Lambeth were less likely to report ‘all of the time’ to feeling relaxed, dealing with problems well and feeling close to other people. On average Lambeth residents rated their life satisfaction as 7 out of 10. Those who were unemployed, living in North Lambeth and Stockwell were more likely to score 5 or under, whilst those who were in full time employment or retired had higher scores. The survey results demonstrated the strong link between mental wellbeing work, social class, neighbourhood, ethnic group and age.

What are the best things we could do to improve wellbeing in Lambeth?

Promoting mental wellbeing should be central to all Health & Wellbeing Board activity and the strategy should set out the commitment to the wellbeing of Lambeth residents, what this means in practice and how it will be measured. Some examples include:

–       Increase parenting programme provision

–       School based social and emotional learning programmes and a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing

–       Promote wellbeing in the workplace

–       Befriending of older adults

–       Screen policies to ensure they promote and protect emotional wellbeing

–       Ensure good quality housing

–       Protect and enhance our green space

–       Promote the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ message in healthy lifestyles work

–       Measure what matters to people (eg. perceptions of safety, children’s emotional wellbeing)

We’re not starting from scratch!

Lambeth has had strategies and programmes focusing on wellbeing since 2005 more recently the Lambeth ‘Wellbeing and Happiness Programme’ which has taken a strategic approach to improving mental wellbeing. It has focused on; ensuring public spaces are attractive and safe, that the borough is a vibrant and cohesive place to live, work and learn, that people care about each other and that Lambeth will be a recognised leader in the provision of services that enable local people to achieve, maintain and regain mental wellbeing.

Some of the activities that the programme has delivered include:

–       Utilising Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment to review policies and services against the evidence base for improving wellbeing

–       Mental Health First Aid & ‘Enhancing wellbeing’ training

–       Small grants scheme to enable work on wellbeing

–       Expanding timebanking

–       Establishing a ‘Best workplace’ category for Lambeth Business Awards

–       Community engagement work eg. Brixton Reel Film Festival

–       Establishing a wellbeing network and e-bulletin to encourage work on wellbeing

–       Promoting the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ message

–       Work on measuring wellbeing

The work is acknowledged nationally and referenced by Local Government Improvement & Development.

What’s the evidence that improving wellbeing is worth investing time and resource on?

There is a wealth of evidence that suggests good mental welllbeing is related to better outcomes at school, work, in our neighbourhoods and is linked to better physical health and longevity. Action to improve mental wellbeing could therefore have important social and economic benefit. This is backed by NICE guidance, evidence based reports from Foresight and the Department of Health.

For more information contact Lucy Smith, Public Health Manager on 020 3049 4470 or email  To be part of our wellbeing network in Lambeth and receive regular updates send an email to

24 July, 2012

Lambeth Wellbeing Network Newsletter – Issue 18, July 2012

Lambeth Wellbeing Network Newsletter – Issue 18

July, 2012


Measuring what matters: the Happy Planet Index 2012

Demand for food parcels explodes as welfare cuts and falling pay hit home

Shocking discrimination against mental illness within the NHS

Full report at

Happiness is a glass half empty

Lambeth LINk annual report

Time out of mind (article about Mental Health First Aid)

Mental Health First Aid: reducing the stigma

Time to Change survey

The campaign would be grateful if you could spare five minutes to complete their survey.


Useful resources for Health and Wellbeing Boards

Mindapples toolkits (from £12.99)

Happy Planet Index

Nef Happiness at work tool

A Good Week

Grouchy Old Men? Build awareness among organisations that come into contact with older men (50+)

Resources for parents  and

Walk route planner

Policy & Evidence Reports


London’s business case for employee health and well-being (GLA Economics)


Capital Concerns takes a closer look at some of the persisting problems in London.

The Happy Planet Index: 2012 report

Doing Good? Altruism and wellbeing in an age of austerity?

Events, Training & Consultations

Future Brixton workshop

4-6pm, Wednesday, 4 July

Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton

First of series of workshops to draft the Brixton Supplementary Planning document which will guide change in the town over the next decade.

Email: Charlie Smith at or ring 020 7921 0109


Hopes for The future

how do we make them happen

11:00am – 3.00pm on Thursday 5 July 2012

The Loughborough Centre

(105 Angell Road, SW9 7PD)

Please join us for a conversation about your hopes for the future and what you need to make them happen.

Light lunch and a complimentary voucher provided to each participant.

Spaces are limited so RSVP or for more information

Please contact Tricia Hackett


M: 07860 519783

The U – Loughborough Junction

For all parts of our community this summer

The L.J.U is a local project providing local spaces for ALL the community to learn skills. This July and August all are welcome to come along for 90 min sessions on:

  • First Aid
  • Defusing Conflict
  • Networking in the Community

The sessions will be led by trained-up local ‘Hosts’. This could be you! You need no expertise and we’ll provide the training. ‘Hosts’ will need to be signed up asap so please contact us right away! If not simply come along for the sessions.

It takes no expertise, no money, just a desire to play some part in your local community.

For more information call Nathan (07531330353) or Kingsley (07531330036).

Or email us: or, @TheLJ_U,

Come and learn to play the DIY Happiness game

10.30am-12.30pm, Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

Bells Gardens Community Centre, 19 Buller Close, SE15 6UJ

Light refreshments will be provided. There will be an opportunity to order or purchase the DIY Happiness game at this event. For more information ring Caro Swan on 020 3228 1695


Exploring our Futures

11 July 2012

A programme of events designed to help us generate scenarios for the future of health and social care in Lambeth and Southwark. In developing these scenarios I hope that we can build on existing work and:

–  inform and strengthen our own local strategies and decision making

–  help each of us to identify areas of key strategic importance

–  help us as a wider health and social care economy have a shared point of reference and understanding that will support greater partnership working.

The programme of events is funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, delivered by a consortium of the King’s Fund, RAND Europe and idenk, and, crucially, designed by a group of your colleagues and peers from across Lambeth and Southwark, including individuals from the NHS, Social Care, Borough Councils and the LINks.

Book online at

Lambeth Inter Faith Walks

14th and 15th July 2012

There will be two walks just before the London Olympics. South London Inter Faith Group is encouraging as many as possible on such walks across London that weekend. On Saturday the 14th the Walk will start at South London Synagogue (Orthodox) at 12.00, pass though Brixton and end at Clapham High Street. On Sunday the 15th the Walk will start at Shree Swawinarayan Temple at 10.00am and follow the Streatham Faith Trail.
Enquiries to Alan Gadd,, 07889 221 847

Mental Health First Aid & Enhancing wellbeing training’uploads/hplambethlewisham/pdf/T037701.pdf

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Basic course for people with little or no training or experience in mental health. The aim is to help you support young people who might be developing a mental health issue or in crisis.

Course 1 – 19 & 20 July, 9.30am-4.30pm (delegates must attend both days),

Munro Centre, Snowsfields, London, SE1 3SS

Course 2 – 24 & 25 July, 9.30am-4.30pm (delegates must attend both days)

The Oasis Centre, 75 Westminster Bridge Rd, London, SE1 7HS

Contact or ring 020 3228 1695.

Spiritual and pastoral care course in mental health for all faith groups

6-8.30pm, 3 September to 12 November

A 10 week training programme in pastoral care in mental health. Spirituality can help people maintain good mental health and a well structured pastoral engagement with faith community members can reduce isolation. The course will increase awareness in mental health issues, understand the role of religion in mental health and be able to apply knowledge to support people with a mental health issue.

For more information contact Juney Muhammad on 020 3228 0952 or email


Looking for projects to fund in St Leonard’s ward, Streatham

Particularly interested in funding projects to support:

–       Community cohesion

–       Community safety

–       Enhancing the local environment

Apply now for the 2013-14 voluntary sector partnership awards

Community Builders Fund


Time to Change grant Round 2 – open for applications at the end of July

Funds for projects that change attitudes and behaviour by engaging local communities in meaningful conversations about mental health. People with experience of mental health problems should be involved in the planning and development of the projects at all levels.

If you are interested in being part of a partnership bid for Lambeth, please email

Round 1 beneficiaries will be announced at the end of July. Good luck and fingers crossed to all Lambeth applicants!

Wellbeing Tip

Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Make sure you get enough sleep! Don’t surf the net just before you are going to bed and take half an hour at least to wind down by reading a book, having a bath or drinking a hot drink.

Let us know whether this newsletter is useful and what other information you would like to see featured in future. If you are doing some great wellbeing work that you’d like others in Lambeth to hear about, then do get in touch at

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