The Mental Health Alliance – South West was established in June 2011 following a meeting of over 100 mental health stakeholders from all areas of the South West including service users and carers, local authorities, Social Services, Commissioners, mental health NHS trusts, mental health practitioners and those representing a variety of South West communities.


The Mental Health Alliance – South West (MHASW) is the ‘on the ground voice’ . It is for anyone in the South West who has an interest in mental health whether as a recipient of services, working in services or whatever.

The MHASW aims to contribute to improving the mental health and wellbeing of local communities in the South West by sharing good practice, raising unified concerns, etc. The outcome of the alliance is to be involved in trying to secure the best possible services in the South West for people who have mental health problems.

The Alliance has a Steering Group of people selected from around the different areas of the South West. Fifty percent of the steering group are service users and carers and fifty percent are staff selected to provide particular roles.

The aim of the steering group is to listen to the views of the Alliance and feed views in and out of other South West networks e.g Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia, Neurological Conditions South West. The desired outcome is for the ‘on the ground voice’ to have a real impact on positive decision making in mental health services across the South West.

Click here to see who the representatives on the MHASW steering group are.

The MHASW and MHSW steering group build on networks which have developed over many years in order to consolidate and strengthen lines of communication; to support and facilitate engagement and involvement; and to work with local, regional and national partners to improve mental health and wellbeing services.

What we do

The Mental Health Alliance South West,

  • brings together a comprehensive network of stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds;
  • provides clear communication links, for the purpose of information sharing and dissemination, and consultation;
  • provides a regional forum for stakeholders to enable them to influence, support and provide expert advice in,
    • best practice in the commissioning and provision of mental health and wellbeing services;
    • delivery of highest quality mental health and wellbeing services;
    • improving outcomes, quality and safety of mental health and wellbeing services.
  • links with key health and care agencies including NHS England regional and Area Teams, Strategic Clinical Networks and Clinical Senates, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Public Health England, Health and Wellbeing Boards, HealthWatch England and local HealthWatch, and other voluntary and community sector groups.

Equal, and independent

The Alliance is independent of commissioners and service providers; it provides an essential bridge to local commissioning and service delivery forums in order to ensure that the voice of the people of the South West is given parity of esteem.

In 2013-14, the Alliance has been sponsored by the Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions South West. Representatives of the Alliance sit on the SCN Mental Health Network, South West.

Who can be a member?

Membership of the Mental Health Alliance- South West is open to anyone with an interest in improving services and support for people who have mental health problems, and in promoting mental health and wellbeing.

Register now to receive our free monthly e-bulletin.

Useful resources

Click here to access a range of resources to support local involvement, and promote excellence in commissioning, service improvement and service redesign.