Welcome to my March 2022 update of our SW London mental health carers forum. The group is a hybrid group of my other forums. Usually my carer forums focus on engagement and updates, but this one sometimes acts as a peer and network group for those caring for someone with mental illness.
Speakers for March 2022
- Karen Persaud – SWLSTG – Carers, friends and family involvement coordinator
- Gary Baker – Carers Support Worker – Richmond Mind
- Antonia Buamah – Patient peer support – EMHIP– Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project.
Karen from South West London & St George Presents
Karen who sometimes attends and engages with our group updated us on carer developments at the local SW London mental health trust. Karen spoke about the new carers peer support worker Zoe Hannah. The new role will be running for one year and should hopefully continue onwards.
The trust is actually really committed to pushing forward the lived experience workforce as part of their overall service delivery. This is where they have four services user peer support workers in posts. SWLSTG are also currently reviewing the trust’s carers strategy, which is quite outdated.
The new strategy will also be reflecting on the need for the trust to do more around supporting carers through their carers recovery journey, because carers go through a recovery alongside supporting loved ones through their own recovery journey. This means it is trying to balancing out wellbeing needs.
The next update for SWLSTG is there new recovery college course, which is being facilitated by Kingston adults education, college. The course has been adapted for wellbeing techniques for carers, families and friends. The course should be running for 10 weeks. Karen also updated briefly on the friends, families and carers group incase new members of our forum are interested in trust involvement.
Last updates from Karen was on the carer awareness training for staff, especially on induction for staff. This would involve carer communication skills plus carer involvement in the planning and discharge.
Gary Baker – Carers Support Worker – Richmond Mind presents
Gary fed back on how Ricmond Mind works closely with Richmond carers regarding mental health carers. Carers can be self refered or be referred to by another professional. Once they received that referral, Richmond Mind will contact the carer. From there the carer will be given access to support and workshops.
Gary mentioned that quite a few people tend not to like the term carer and tend to prefer being called a client or the person’s relative.
- Responses from carer members.
Are services at Richmond could be offered in Merton or Kingston? (quite a few members asked about the services)
My question was on engagement from SWLSTG, I wondered if Richmond Mind staff have been invited to meetings. Gary talked at length regarding carer champion meetings.
The next question I asked for engagement from community mental health teams. This is where Gary mentioned that there was not enough.
Antonia presents on the Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project (EMHIP)
Antonia talked about how the Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project (EMHIP) is an attempt to reduce inequalities in access, experience and outcome of mental health care in South West London (Wandsworth & Tooting, Battersea locality). It was developed through the leadership and activism of leaders within the African, African Caribbean, and Asian communities.
The EMHIP advocates for a practical, locally based service improvement programme, co-designed with service users and local Black and Asian communities, based on established evidence, building on existing community led, co-produced projects.
In the UK, people from the Black and Asian community are being denied equal and compassionate mental health care.
- They more likely to be brought to and kept in without their consent.
- They are more likely to access mental health services through the police and criminal justice systems.
find themselves unwell and back again, once released, particularly men
- be forcibly restrained and given more than the recommended amount of medication.
- The fence of mental heath for the Black and Asian community has been broken for several generations and the many promises of repair (partial or full) has not materialised to date.
- We have delved deep, hence, our toolkit EMHIP– Ethnicity and Mental Health Improvement Project.
Antonia pointed out that as a community we’ve recognised that our broken fence must be repaired once and for all and have forged collaborations and partnership with many friends
South West London CCG (CCGs are now replaced to Integrated Care Boards)
South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
Local context of Black and Asian – voluntary, faith and community groups
This can be organized via the non-profit Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN)
The Hub offers our guests, visitors and other attendees a communal safe place to sit down, relax and have a conversation in a hospitable environment.
¨ Physical Health and Wellbeing checks
¨ Citizen Advice Bureau/Housing First Aid
¨ Pastoral Systemic Therapy
¨ Mental Health and Wellbeing Out-patients type clinics
¨ Explore training or employment opportunities
¨ Promote on-going recovery
¨ Social life wellbeing
¨ Effective “active sign-posting” to the supportive local services or agencies
More information can be found below
This was a brief update for my SW London mental health carers peer group. For the month of July SW London NHS will be engaging our group regarding SW London’s mental health strategy. I for one will hope it will include families and carers.