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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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What is the Lucy Project?

Photo of a mental health drop-in centre

Researchers from GOSH and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health set up a drop-in centre, named "The Lucy Booth" after the Peanuts' characters' stand, in the hospital's reception area. The Lucy Booth provided accessible, low-intensity, early intervention services for patients and families concerned about their mental health. 

Support provided to participants included assessments, one to one and group therapy sessions, as well as the provision of interventions through a psychological wellbeing practitioner who delivered low intensity psychological interventions, such as guided self-help; signposting to other services  and onward referrals. "Drop-in" meant almost instant access to someone to talk to, meaning access to services without lengthy referrals. "Low intensity" meant the most effective, but least intrusive, time consuming and expensive intervention. 

Attending the booth was shown to reduce emotional and behaviour symptoms and increase quality of life. Patients and their families found the drop-in centre highly acceptable and reported a positive experience. Health economic analysis indicated good value for money. The project received the Mental Health Team of the Year Award at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards. Research outputs from this study can be found here. 

The next stage of the project is now underway, developing and evaluating the national roll-out of this mental health drop-in model at other paediatric hospitals and services. Further research will investigate brief, low-intensity psychological interventions and how they are best implemented into routine practice. 

Cartoon of Lucy Van Pelt in a booth with the text the doctor is in

If you are interested in becoming a site for the Lucy Implementation Project, please get in touch.