Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that uses the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
MECC maximises the opportunity within routine health and care interactions for a brief or very brief discussion on health or wellbeing factors to take place.
A MECC interaction takes a matter of minutes and is not intended to add to the busy workloads of health, care and the wider workforce staff, rather it is structured to fit into and complement existing professional clinical, care and social engagement approaches.
Evidence suggests that the broad adoption of the MECC approach by people and organisations across health and care could potentially have a significant impact on the health of our population.
The Wakefield Approach
There are nearly 22,000 health and social care employees in Wakefield. If each of them took just 10 opportunities over a year to promote health and wellbeing and only half of those conversations result in action then that’s 110,000 people more assisted than before.
MECC is about taking a different approach and using your role to support people whatever their needs. For example, you may be working with someone whom you discover is caring for a loved one at home. You can take the opportunity to raise the issue of their needs as a carer and work with them to identify what support they need.
MECC isn’t telling people how to live their lives, giving health advice, something extra you have to do on top of your busy role. MECC is being more aware of people’s situation and supporting them at their pace and from their perspective.
We have trained people from all different levels, roles and organisations in Wakefield.
A notable example:
Library staff from Wakefield Council. Trained all staff in 2015 and since the training the service has embedded health and wellbeing into what they do – this has resulted in Sandal Library being renovated to be a dementia-friendly library and a range of health-related activities run now from libraries.