Tag Archives: Lewisham

Lewisham MH Carers forum April 2018

Welcome back to my MH carer forum update from the Lewisham carers group. At the Lewisham Mental Health carer forum, we discuss carer engagement from our local mental health trust, 3 party organisations, the council and lewisham based GP surguries.

We also discuss carers rights, reports and learning about the carers role. For the april 2018 meeting. We discussed the report sent back from out local Mental health foundation trust, which is South London & Maudsley.

I usually attend and chair carer forums across South London, so it was important quality improvements for the mental health services get views from Carers. The report is fairly well written and easy to digest. I had printed out some copies for members to read at the Lewisham MH Carers forum.

We spent most of the time discussing the report, especially page 7 of the report, because that is where the write up of the carers forums were placed regarding carer issues. Despite the report being very easy to read, there were some problems. Some members felt the report was too vague and missed some things out. Other members of the Lewisham MH Carers forum felt the report is lacking in a conclusion on what needs to be done to tackle quality issues.


One of the members of the forum is going to raise their concerns back at the trust, although I am glad the quality project did mention our concerns. We hope SLaMs Head of quality can engage with the forum regarding SLaMs quality priorites.

We also had a guest speaker at the forum who promises to return to the forum again. The head of the Ladywell Mental Health unit based at Lewisham Hospital engaged with the forum. I was delighted that she was able to make it, even though she had to deal with many emergency meetings. Sam Grey spoke about her role and what a Unit manager does. She described around 7 wards and their purpose and gave an update of changing service structures regarding borough based services rather than trust wide services.

I spoke about the need for a carer support group to be set up for the whole of the Unit, mainly because such a support group existed there years ago. Plus families and carers can always make the tuesday evening for a support group. I am fortunate enough to get support from the trust’s modern matrons who themselves focus on quality priorities. The forum wanted updates and engagement from the Ladywell Unit’s phamacist also the psychriatric nurse from Lewisham hospital, unfortunately we are not sure if it is possible to get their time, but the forum is interested on how such staff deal with medication issues and also how Lewisham hospital’s A&E engages with patients and their friends/families.

I hope the update was a useful read, see you next time.


Lewisham BME Mental Health Carers Forum September


Welcome to Septembers Lewisham BME MH Carers Forum. Yes, I know it is a long title for the forum, but nevertheless the importance of unpaid BME mental health carers cannot be understated. The reason I set up the forum was to allow BME carers the platform to discuss issues, engage with those responsible for equality and diversity and also educate other carers who are not aware of their role or problems they may face.

To Watch the video version, click below.

The Lewisham BME MH Carers forum runs from the Lee centre over in Lewisham. On the agenda for September was an introduction on why the forum was set up, its requirements and a talk about race, equality and diversity from our Local mental health trust’s equality lead Macius Kurowski.

So why the need for such forum?

– We have no idea how many BME Carers/Service users in Lewisham have any idea or influence on Mental Health services.

– There is a high rate of BME Mental Health carers, due to the high rate of BME service users & those not using the services.

– Mental Health BME carers need some empowerment in their role.

– Services have suffered from cuts, carers need to act in order to support everyone.

– Lambeth is now on the map for a big push on BME mental health focus, but where is Lewisham where the population is very diverse?

Eventually Macius South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Equality lead spoke about his role at the trust, why it was needed and the importance of race and equality. At the first BME Carers forum, we discussed his report about Meeting the public sector equality duty at SLaM. So we felt it was important we should engage and hear more from the trust’s equality lead.


Macius mentioned that it is important we examine, discuss and understand the report since it will help us all in our roles. He did feel that as a forum, when it comes to finding about the data regarding the number of BME service users and carers, it can be complex. Macius stated that SLaM is doing a number of good things in picking up data e.g. (quality improvement meetings) and engaging with the public, but there is still more work to be done.

We were grateful for Macius to engage with the forum and look forward to him returning early next year. This concludes the update for September’s Lewisham BME Mental Health Carers forum.

Lewisham mental health carers forum July 2017

coverHere is the update for the Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum for July 2017.  This is one of the older mental health carer forums in south London, the carers forum has been running for more than a year.  Of course, When I say “Mental Health Carer”, I mean someone who is caring unpaid for a relative, friend or neighbour suffering from some form of mental illness.

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Carers Lewisham MH Carers Forum June

Mental Health Open ForumWelcome back to another update of the June Mental Health Carers forum 2017. The Mental Health Carers forum is a basically a forum for carers who care for someone using the mental health services. What I mean by a carer is someone who is unpaid and caring out of love, desperation or commitment. Carers are not care workers, carers do not get paid and they do not have clients.

The Mental Health carers forum runs from a carers centre in Lewisham. The forum has been running for nearly 2 years, but there is some exciting news as the forum is slowly networking with other carers and word is beginning to spread. Another Mental Health carers forum has just also started in June and there are plans for a few more Mental Health Carers forums.

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Lewisham Mental Health Conference 2015 – Speaking Out & Creating Community

Welcome to another blog post on mental health and carers. This blog post is on the Lewisham Mental Health Connection conference for 2015.


The Lewisham Mental Health Connection or LMHC for short stands to put mental health awareness on the map in Lewisham. It is not to say that other organisations do not do enough to raise mental health awareness and combat mental health issues, but with the LMHC the power is in the connections where organisations, groups and individuals work together to make a change in the community.

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Mental health scheme to help Lewisham’s pupils ‘before they fall’

A new mental health project will help school pupils in London to deal with their problems and worries after receiving a £500,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s £75m HeadStart programme.

The development funding means that pupils in Lewisham will take part in a pilot project in the new school year. The local partnership will use this pilot to work up long term plans that could benefit from a multi-million pound share of HeadStart funding.

 A previous YouGov survey for the Big Lottery Fundrevealed that 45 per cent of children aged 10-14 have reported being unable to sleep because of stress or worry, with fifty nine per cent saying they feel worried or sad at least once a week. However, only around 25 per cent of young people needing treatment for mental health problems actually receive it and usually only once they reach 18[1].

The HeadStart programme aims to develop ways of dealing with mental health issues before they become deep-rooted problems. Focussing primarily on schools, the HeadStart partners will offer a range of approaches, including peer mentoring, mental health ‘first aid’ training, online portals and special resilience lessons helping pupils aged 10-14 feel they have support at in the classroom as well as at home and tackling the stigma that can often surround the issues of mental health.

Lyn Cole, Deputy England Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We know that around three young people in every classroom suffer from a clinically diagnosable mental health disorder and this is a desperately sad situation. HeadStart is all about catching our young people before they fall into a trap of mental and emotional turmoil that may affect them all though their lives. This development funding means that children in Lewisham will play an important role in helping other young people get emotional support at a key stage in their lives.”

Councillor Paul Maslin, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Lewisham Council, said: “We are very excited to be part of this pilot project. Making the journey from teenager to adulthood is an important stage in young people’s lives and some will find it easier than others. So it’s important that where we can, we build mental and emotional resilience in those young people who may find the journey more difficult. I look forward to seeing the results of this project and how the involvement of young people in Lewisham has contributed to this important initiative.”

For more information about HeadStart you can contact Healthwatch Lewisham at www.healthwatchlewisham.co.uk or info@healthwatchlewisham.co.uk

Lewisham Carers Event 2014

On Tuesday the 10th of June 2014 I decided to take a trip to Lewisham’s Civic suite for the Carers day event which runs from carers week 2014.

lewisham civic suite

What is carers week?


Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign which takes place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June 2014.

Being a carer myself for over 11 years, I feel an interest and a connection in raising carer awareness, although my role as a carer has been on mental health care.

I have actually been to the Lewisham’s reaching out to carers event 3 or 4 times, so I had some idea what to expect. Usually you would have numerous stalls, posters and flyers, some speeches, lunch and a wellbeing treatment room where you could get massage or other forms or relaxation.

All these things are critical for carers especially the number one thing being “Information”. What tends to hit carers the most is lack of information, be it information on what to do as a carer, information on getting support, information on looking after themselves or their caree (that being the person who they care for).

As I arrived at the “Reaching out for carers” event. I was greated by staff who are passionate by carers. One was off the Lewisham carer’s partnership board and I know he works very hard to raising awareness and services for carers in lewisham. The other staff who signed me in was the “Carers lewisham” youth worker.

goodie bag

I got my raffle ticket off the welcoming staff and also a goodie bag filled with
carer packs and information. There was quite a lot, so this impressed me.



Most of the day was spent wandering from stall to stall, although this year I did not talk too much to the other stall holders, but I saw the usual being “Lewisham Talking Newspaper”, “FORVIL stall (Vietnamese support for Lewisham Vietnamese residents”, “Lewisham IAPTs (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies” and several other stalls.

pic-1The main stalls I visited were the “Lewisham Carers” stall, SLaM carers information stall “SLaM” stands for South London and Maudsley trust and I visited and chatted to those holding the IAPTs stall.


To be honest I used to go to the “Reaching out for carers” event to look for information and I guess I still do at some point, but the main reason now is to reach out to carers, not because I can try offer any support, its mainly because I am still looking for that connection, I am looking for the network of carers. I usually go to carers groups in my borough which is Lewisham and I meet some familiar faces, but being a carer can often be a lonely role. It can be hard to be understood as carers battle for ever decreasing support.

This year’s carers event held over at Lewisham’s civic suite did not disappoint when speaking to other carers, I met a few who are well known to Lewisham on their caring role. I spoke to them on what they thought about the event and most were fairly happy. I asked them how they were getting along in their well being and caring role and things were improving as long as they themselves felt valued.

nhs self-care

I also did the same for the stall holders where I asked how they were in themselves and unfortunately some were ill. In my “mind” I thought what pressure are they under? Could it be service changes? could it be proving support to carers that might be demanding? None of the stall holders told me. However I do sympathize with most of them.

I did not stay too long at the event because I had to pop into work. Luckily I work part time to support myself financially and we ll get on to that another day because carers definitely need financial support, but this is lacking because they are busy caring.

Overall I was fairly pleased with the event and I wished I took more pictures. I hope to attend more events in future regarding carers or mental health events.