The BME Health Forum's Multilingual Emotional Wellbeing Project has been previously grant funded to deliver in RBKC until 30th September 2021. This new funding from Imperial Healthcare Charity will extend coverage into North Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Ealing, Brent, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
The Multilingual Emotional Wellbeing Support Service supports people who are going through an emotionally difficult time and are not fluent English speakers.
Trained staff or volunteers meet clients in a confidential space and offer them emotional support and practical help to resolve issues that are causing emotional distress by supporting clients to access other services (for example going with them to the citizens’ advice bureau, offering informal interpreting support, helping them access health and wellbeing services, and social or educational activities). The project targets people who find it difficult to access mainstream counselling services.
Each client will normally receive 4 sessions, preferably face to face but by telephone when circumstances require it. Each client completes a pre and post questionnaire which includes the short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMBS), a question on perceived health, and details of services or activities they have been supported to access - such as seeing a GP, going to a foodbank or joining a physical activity class (online during COVID restrictions).
This project will be delivered by 5 different providers coordinated by the BME Health Forum. Language provision includes Arabic, Bangla, Farsi and Kurdish.
The model combines bilingual support and knowledge of the workers and volunteers with community provider organisations' deeper connections, trust, and roots with their target communities through shared language or culture.
The project reduces clients' social isolation and physical inactivity, improves wellbeing and increases uptake and early access to primary care mental health services. Volunteers and staff access training and gain skills which results in either paid work or volunteering opportunities, improving their wellbeing.
Organisations delivering the project are:
- Abbey Community Association
- Al Hasaniya
- Iranian Association
- Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation
- Queens Park Bangladeshi Association