Open Mental Health (OMH) has announced the renewal of its contract in a major development for mental health services in Somerset.

As an alliance of local voluntary organisations, NHS, social care, Somerset Council, and individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges, OMH works to provide and improve care in the region.

It is led by charity Rethink Mental Illness, who holds this contract on behalf of the OMH alliance.

Central to OMH's service is their commitment to an open and inclusive system which prioritises the voices of those with lived experience of mental health issues.

OMH has been revolutionising the provision of mental health services in Somerset since 2020. Beccy Wardle, associate director for ICB partnerships at Rethink Mental Illness, said: "The contract renewal is great news.

"OMH can continue providing vital mental health support to the people of Somerset, including open access to mental health nurses, wellbeing and peer support workers, eating disorder specialists, help for carers, and specialist support around benefits, money and debt.”

The contributions of the expert by experience leaders, those with lived experience of mental health issues, have been invaluable in shaping OMH's service.

One such leader, Jo Poole from Street, explained: "Open Mental Health looked at the people using the services and said, let’s do the really courageous thing and listen to them".

In 2023 alone, OMH assisted over 37,000 individuals with meaningful interventions.

Their confidential telephone support service, Mindline Somerset, also dealt with over 35,000 calls.

The renewal of the contract signifies more than the continuity of mental health support in Somerset.

It represents the continuation of a service shaped by those with lived experience of the mental health system.

Partnerships within Somerset's public sector have been integral to OMH's success.

Jane Yeandle, service group director, mental health and learning disabilities for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted that the MH Community Transformation contract has been awarded to Open Mental Health.

"Somerset’s Open Mental Health offer continues to be considered a national "exemplar."

Juliet Lyon CBE, Open Mental Health’s independent chair, added: "This partnership between Somerset Foundation Trust and the Open Mental Health Alliance really opens the door for people in Somerset to get mental health support where and when they need it most."

If anyone requires support with their mental health, please contact Open Mental Health.

The confidential phone line is open at any time, locally on 01823 276 892 or freephone 0800 138 1692, or visit