Mental Wellbeing Project
This project aims to support BME people who live in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham and are experiencing emotional difficulties but who are not mental health service users.
The project also aims to support organisations working with BME clients by recognising the role these organisations have in maintaining the mental wellbeing of their clients and by offering training and resources to volunteers and staff members to make this work more sustainable.
The need for this project has been established through a number of surveys and consultations with BME organisations. The main issues around need are:
- Support for mental wellbeing is one of the most often found needs amongst BME communities.
- People who do not speak English are vulnerable to feelings of isolation and need culturally appropriate support in their own language.
- Support during a time of crisis can prevent deterioration of mental health.
- Early referrals to mental health services can prevent deterioration of mental health.
- BME volunteers need support and training to improve their skills and employability and to be able to contribute fully towards the organisations with which they volunteer.
- Voluntary organisations provide a lot of emotional support towards their communities which sometimes goes unnoticed by the statutory sector and need support to be able to demonstrate this.
- To train bilingual volunteers to provide emotional support to clients, make appropriate referrals, and write case notes.
- To provide emotional support for clients in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham who are going through a difficult time in their lives because of a change in circumstances e.g. separation or family breakdown, bereavement, illness or disability, becoming a parent or carer, loss of employment, moving home.
- To make appropriate referrals for befriending and mentoring schemes to clients that require such a service and to offer a befriender to clients who are not suitable for any of the available befriending schemes.
- To make appropriate referrals to other services including mental health services to clients that need them.
- To support BME organisations in their work with vulnerable clients and enable them to demonstrate the mental wellbeing work they do.
- The Forum will recruit 6 organisations that work with BME clients in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham to deliver the project.
- Volunteers will be trained to conduct needs assessments, provide emotional support, referrals and advocacy. Each organisation will be expected to see a minimum of 60 clients and offer a minimum of 200 sessions during the project cycle.
- Sessions will provide a space for clients to communicate using a person centred, non-judgemental approach, and may or may not be goal orientated, depending on the needs of the client.
- Group Support Sessions for all project volunteers will take place on a quarterly basis i.e. 4 sessions during the project - 3 hrs per session.
- Clients are effectively supported during a period of difficulty and referred to appropriate services.
- Clients who need to access mental health services are helped to access these services in a timely way.
- Volunteers are effectively supported and supervised so that they can contribute effectively to the organisation and improve their own skills and experience.
- The organisation is able to use the information gathered during the project to establish the mental wellbeing needs of their users.