Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust launches Life Rooms Online

The Life Rooms, an award-winning social prescribing model by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, marked World Mental Health Day (WMHD) with the launch of a new online learning platform, Life Rooms Online. The intention of the service is to help people look after their mental and physical health throughout the pandemic restrictions and beyond.

When lockdown forced the closure of five Life Rooms centres in March, classrooms were converted into call centres to ensure that Life Rooms’ 5,000 service users and frontline staff retained access to the vital health and wellbeing information provided by the service. Many courses that had been hosted in person, pre-pandemic, were moved online.

This model proved so successful that Life Rooms has now officially launched a new online learning platform, where anyone can access its 28 courses. Sessions cover diverse topics such as healthy cooking, Life Rooms fit camp, understanding sleep and problem solving, as well as courses hosted by some fantastic local partner organisations.

Partners for the Life Rooms Online include Liverpool Philharmonic, Movema and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres. Between them they have created a suite of creative arts based activities for all to access. The Life Rooms at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres is funded through a £40,000 grant from Space to Connect, a partnership between Co-Op Foundation and Government.

Michael Crilly, Mersey Care’s director of social inclusion and participation, said, “As we continue to co-exist with the coronavirus, it’s become necessary to radically rethink how we can deliver our essential Life Rooms support safely and in a way that can provide learning and community support for mental and physical health and well-being.

“We can’t open our physical buildings but instead we’re opening The Life Rooms Online, as a fully functioning digital environment through which the full Life Rooms experience will be made available, not only to our own local communities but also to a much wider audience.”

Free content from The Life Rooms was viewed online over 6,000 times between April and August. Over 90 film-based courses had more than 14,000 views on The Life Rooms YouTube channel.

Courses offer entertainment, as well as practical help for people who may be struggling to cope. Many are led by tutors who have themselves experienced mental health issues.

Visit the Life Rooms website.

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