Eastspace consultation: what we did
13 August 2021
Thank you to everyone who was involved in the consultation for Eastspace. Your involvement and ideas have and will make Eastspace the best that it can be. Below, we have responded to some of the comments we received during the consultation.
Barriers to accessing Eastspace
People don’t know about Eastspace
To tackle this, we will be promoting this service more effectively throughout East Lothian and via social media channels.
Thank you to your brilliant suggestions for how we should promote Eastspace. This included linking in with GPs other health professionals, improving how we are found online, visiting support groups in East Lothian, Radio Saltire, posters, leaflets and local groups on Facebook.
You can also help to promote Eastspace by sharing one of our graphics online or requesting promotional materials to be sent to you by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download our promotional material here: www.eastspace.org.uk/about-us
People can have difficulties accessing the internet and some don’t have IT skills
We will continue to link in with local organisations that support individuals to access information online.
Eastspace has been created so that all pages are print-friendly too – this means that professionals, friends and families can print and share information.
We have also added a page on support using digital to help you access Eastspace.
If your organisation can provide digital equipment to people in East Lothian, we would love to hear from you so we can promote the important work you do. Please get in touch with Julie at email@example.com.
Too much information, leading to people feeling overwhelmed and not finding information quickly enough
Through consultation, we have simplified the information and categorized it clearly to help you find the information you need.
It was also raised that the service and providers tabs on the original website were confusing. To make things simpler and easier to use, we have removed the provider’s tab and focused on the services.
Our service directory has a new filtering system. You can now filter by type of support ie drop-in, support with others, support over the phone, online, support with others with similar experience, and by category. We have included a wide range of categories including men, women, young people, creative, healthy living, loneliness, survivors of abuse, and long-term conditions.
Try out our new service directory, please go to https://eastspace.org.uk/find-a-service/
Additionally, have also improved our search function so it will be easier to search the website using keywords such as ‘counselling’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘helplines’.
One of the key barriers highlighted at the consultations was accessibility. Not being able to access the information due to a disability, language barrier or finding the information overwhelming.
To help make Eastspace accessible, we invested in the software ReciteMe.
This software can:
- Read aloud text on the website (including PDFs)
- Download the text as an MP3 file to play it where and when it suits you
- Change font sizes and colours
- Customise background colour
- Translate text into more than 100 different languages
- Access a fully dictionary and thesaurus
- Reading mask – show only 10% of the screen to help with concentration
You can access ReciteMe by clicking the languages and accessibility button on the top right-hand corner of the screen.
There’s still a stigma surrounding mental health difficulties
We will continue to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing difficulties throughout East Lothian. We will do this by promoting the work of others in the area, sharing information and resources, being part of campaigns related to mental health, promoting positive messages on social media and sharing your stories on Eastspace. We all have mental health and we all need to look after it.
Some of the information can be out of date
We will work closely with service providers in the area to make sure the information stays accurate. We have rigorous processes for updating the website, so the information you are accessing is correct to the best of our ability.#
We also have an exciting new feedback function on Eastspace. (see image to your right). This allows you to send us feedback in real-time. It is a simple thumbs up/down feature with a comment box. You can let us know whether the page was helpful and if the information was correct. We then receive an alert and can act on the information received.
Thank you for sharing your local knowledge of services for East Lothian and highlighting the types of services you would like to see on Eastspace. Your ideas included:
- Ageing well East Lothian
- Walking groups
- Creative activities (craft groups, music groups)
- Young people’s services
- Social groups
- Alzheimer and dementia
- Peer support
We have reached out to a wide range of organisations to get their up-to-date service details. We currently have over 80 services listed in our directory. We are continuing to grow this area of the website so please get in touch if you know of a service that would be suitable.
Thank you for your suggestions of what information to include in our services pages. We have expanded on what information we show on each service page:
Who is this for?
This is situated near the top of the page so you can see quickly if you are eligible for this service/who it is targeted towards. For example, the service page for Lothian Bipolar 18-30 Self-help Group clearly says “People aged between 18 to 30 years old and affected by bipolar”
We have included the address and an interactive map so you will know where the service is based. Additionally, we include location information such as parking, wheelchair accessibility, creche facilities and translations services.
How to access the service and contact details
Each service page will highlight contact details and how to access the service. For example, if it is self-referral or referral by third-party. There will be a contact box on each page so you can get in touch with the service.
We always include the cost of a service/activity.
Ideas for resources
We have received an amazing selection of ideas for resources and content for the new Eastspace. Here are some of the main topics shared and our plans.
In our new self-help section, we have included a wide range of multi-media resources such as factsheets, links to trusted websites, videos, podcasts, apps, audio guides and interactive maps.
We have included:
- Apps and online resources
- Tips and advice to boost mental health and wellbeing (5 ways to wellbeing, relaxation and mindfulness resources positive affirmations)
- Information about different mental health difficulties (Links to factsheets and specialised websites)
- Self-help guides/resources organised by theme (young people, older people, men, LGBTQ+, self-harming, suicidal thoughts, substance use, anger etc.)
- Self-help activities (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy based)
Have a look at our self-help section here: https://eastspace.org.uk/self-help/
Here are some of the main topics suggested to us and what we have done:
Loneliness and isolation
We have developed a new helplines page where you can find phone lines related to:
- Bereavement and grief
- Crisis and suicide prevention
- Eating disorders
- Mental health and wellbeing difficulties
- Information and signposting
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Older people
- Substance use
- Survivors of abuse/crime
- Young people
How to support someone else (family members)
We have developed a new self-help page on supporting someone else
We developed a new apps page that includes over 70 mental health and wellbeing apps.
Services for young people
There’s a new category on the service directory for ‘young people’
And we developed a self-help page on young people’s mental health
Stories/blogs of people’s experiences of mental health and wellbeing
We created a section for your stories. Here you will find stories from people living and/or working in East Lothian about their own experiences of mental health and wellbeing and the different ways they keep well.
We developed a self-help page on relaxation
We linked in with organisations that provide counselling services to be included in our service directory. This can be found by typing ‘counselling’ into the search bar.
We created a self-help page on creativity and added a category on the service directory for ‘creativity’
Our need help now page lists a range of services that you can access in case of a mental health emergency.
We are in the process of creating a content plan covering the wide range of topics suggested and will be adding them to Eastspace in due course. If you have any ideas for topics that are not currently covered on Eastspace, please get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our new brand and design
It was highlighted during the consultation that the previous design needed improvements. We have adapted the design to be more user friendly and easier to navigate. We are consistent throughout the website and the layout is simple and clear so you will be able to find the information you need quickly.
We are excited to have re-branded Eastspace. With your support, we have been able to create a friendly, consistent and diverse brand.
We have taken on your comments on what you didn’t like from the previous site and put that together with what people said they wanted to see.
After sharing our brand ideas during the consultations, we updated it with your suggestions. Here are some of the changes we have made:
- We have expanded on our brand colours
- We have included a mixture of illustrations and photographs. For the photographs, we have included images related to nature, animals, diverse group of people and locations around East Lothian. As time goes on and now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased, we will be adding more images from East Lothian. We have used illustrations that are warm, friendly and vibrant to match our new brand.
If you have ideas on what imagery you would like us to use on Eastspace, please email email@example.com with your suggestions.
It was highlighted during the consultation that the previous design needed improvements. We have adapted the design to be more user friendly and easier to navigate. We are consistent throughout the website and the layout is simple and clear so you will be able to find the information you need quickly. Part of this was making Eastspace mobile friendly.
Keep in touch!
Please keep in touch and let us know more about your experience using Eastspace and/or if you have suggestions for new content.
You can get in touch by email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0131 225 8508 and asking for Julie.
If you haven’t already, please connect with us on social media and sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date with mental health and wellbeing activities in East Lothian –