Community mental health survey 2022

Page last updated: 27 October 2022

This survey looks at the experiences of people who use community mental health services.

The 2022 community mental health survey received feedback from 13,418 people. Those aged 18 and over were eligible to take part if they were receiving specialist care or treatment for a mental health condition between 1 September 2021 and 30 November 2021.

What we found

This report shows that people’s experiences of mental health services provided in the community remain poor. Many of the areas with the poorest historical results, are still the poorest in 2022.

Most notably, access to care, crisis care, involvement in care and support and wellbeing are key areas which have been highlighted as being poor over a number of years.

Consistent with 2021 results, findings this year showed that people who received their care via telephone, younger people (aged 18 to 35) and those with more challenging and severe non-psychotic disorders were less likely to report positive experiences.

Positive results

Organising care

  • 96% said that they knew how to contact the person that was in charge of organising their care.
  • 88% of people said that this person organised their care ‘quite well’ or ‘very well’. 

Key areas for improvement


  • Almost a third of people (31%) had not been told who is in charge of their care.
  • Forty per cent of people did not have a care review meeting with someone from community mental health services in the last 12 months to discuss how their care is working.

Accessing care

  • 40% of people had ‘definitely’ seen services enough for their needs.
  • Two in five people (45%) were not always given enough time to discuss their needs.

Crisis care

  • Over a quarter of people (28%) would not know who to contact out of office hours in the NHS if they had a crisis.
  • Less than half (47%) reported that they ‘definitely’ got the help they needed.


  • Forty-four per cent of respondents said they ‘definitely’ agreed what care they would receive with someone from NHS community mental health services.
  • Just over half (51%) were involved as much as they wanted to be in deciding which NHS talking therapies to use. 

Support and wellbeing

  • Two out of five people (40%) did not receive support for their physical health needs, but would have liked it.
  • Half (50%) of people reported that the person they saw understood how their mental health affected other areas of their lives.

How experience varies for different groups of people

Younger people (aged 18 to 35) reported worse than average experiences across multiple areas of care. Out of the 18 themes analysed, younger people reported worse than average experiences in 12 areas.

In line with previous survey years, findings showed that people with challenging and chaotic non-psychotic disorders reported worse than average experiences of care across multiple areas. In contrast, those with a diagnosis of first episode psychosis consistently reported better than average experiences in most themes.

Findings showed that people who received care via telephone reported worse than average experiences. This was found across seven of the 18 themes analysed. People who received care face-to-face or via video call reported better than average experiences across multiple themes.

Results for NHS trusts

Each trust has been provided with a benchmark report, which provides: detail of the survey methodology, headline results, the trust score for each evaluative question, banding for how a trust score compares with all other trusts.


Open data

Supporting information

How will results be used?

We will use the results from the survey to build an understanding of the risk and quality of services and those who organise care across an area. Where survey findings provide evidence of a change to the level of risk or quality in a service, provider or system, we use the results alongside other sources of people’s experience data to inform targeted assessment activities.

Other organisations

NHS trusts

Trusts, and those who commission services, use the results to identify and make the changes they need to improve the experience of people who use their services.

NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care

Information collected nationally in a consistent way is essential to support public and Parliamentary accountability. The results are used by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care for performance assessment, improvement and regulatory purposes.