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NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is going one step further to ensure that patients are at the heart of local commissioning decisions.

Local resident Debora Mo has recently been appointed to work with the CCG's mental health commissioning team, drawing on her own personal experiences and knowledge to make sure that mental health services in Greenwich continue to reflect the needs and aspirations of local service users, carers and families.

Debora will be working directly with a wide range of service users to understand how mental health services are performing and how they can be improved. Using this unique position, she will also support with the development of new services and work to ensure that they reflect real needs of local people.

The role will also focus on improving awareness in the local community of the mental health services available and how to access them, as well as on reducing stigma associated with talking about mental health.

Debora said: "I'm delighted to be working with Greenwich CCG. There's so much exciting work to be done. I'm really looking forward to working with alongside commissioners and other local health and care organisations locally to help improve the experiences of anyone in the borough who may be suffering from mental ill health.

"Having been in this position myself in the past, I have a personal insight into the often unseen barriers to accessing treatment that are present in the system. I also have strong connections with different local communities that will be really helpful in understanding local challenges and how best to raise awareness of the support available.

"As an artist who has a passionate interest in the link between creativity and good mental health - and who has experienced the difference good diet, a comfortable environment, exercise, sleep and socialising can make - I am also extremely keen to look at how we can help to prevent mental ill health through better community engagement."