World-Mental-Health-Day-2014-Blackpool

Making a splash – RF holds anti-stigma event at Europe’s top waterpark for World Mental Health Day

Richmond Fellowship’s Blackpool Employment Service is marking World Mental Health Day with an evening at Sandcastle Waterpark.

This innovative event aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and the stigma around them, support employers in understanding mental health in the workplace, and offer anyone with any questions about their own mental health to come and meet support group – all while having lots of fun.

It’s one of many awareness-raising activities that our services are taking part in across the country to mark World Mental Health Day today (10 October). Now in it’s 22nd year, the day aims to highlight the importance of good mental health, and this year’s focus is ‘Living with schizophrenia.’

Other activities Richmond Fellowship is taking part in includes:

  • For Take Notice Day, Stockport Home Support is holding an information stall
  • Trinity St care home is holding an information stand at Heckmondwike with a bran tub and lots of promotional goodies on offer
  • A stall in Sudbury Market Square, with a live local band and promotional material to give away, is being run by Suffolk Recovery
  • Peterborough Employment Service is running an event at Peterborougn Football Ground to support managers and employers in understanding and assisting employees with mental health problems
  • A Take Time to Talk artworkshop is being run by Face2Face Dorset at Bournemouth University with etching and badge-making, as well as information about mental health problems and support
  • Art Matters, our community art studio in Redhill, Surrey, is holding three workshops at TheLightbox Gallery in Woking while our East Surrey Community Connections team is holding a ‘Feel Good Day’
  • 2Care Trevayler is having aful day of ativities, startigwih a breakfast cluband followedbyworkshos and dicussons bout stiga,a theatre production and dinner
  • Our services in Liverpool are running an information stand in Williamson Square and Our Time will be promoting our tim-bank and showcasing some of its activities, all as part of Liverpool’s World Mental Health Day Festival.

Richmond Fellowship chief executive Derek Caren said: “Every year we support more than 9,000 people with mental health problems and it’s really important to us to raise awareness about good mental wellbeing for everyone. It’s great to see so many of our services working in their communities to bring positive attention to mental health and the support available.”

 

 

 

We’re named as provider of new crisis services in Leicestershire

Richmond Fellowship has been awarded the contract by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) to provide mental health crisis services to support people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The service will provide short-term intensive support for individuals who need additional help during times of mental health crisis.

Service user and members of the public were consulted in shaping the specification for the new service which will provide:

  • Access to telephone and face-to-face support in times of crisis
  • Facilities to accommodate short residential stays for people who might otherwise be admitted to hospital because no alternative is available.

Our crisis support will enhance the NHS Trust’s existing acute mental health care pathway and forms part of wider service development plans to increase access to timely and effective care in the community, and help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

LPT project manager Zayba Joondan said: “The evaluation panel was very impressed with the submission from Richmond Fellowship. Their organisational commitment to recovery and inclusion and the innovative ways in which these values will underpin their model of service delivery for the crisis house stood out in their bid.”

Richmond Fellowship locality manager Christine Lawrence said:”We’re really excited to be working with Leicestership Partnership NHS Trust to provide this new crisis service. We’re commited to playing our part in creating joined-up services that can truly provide the best possible care to people with mental health problems, especially in a crisis situation when individuals ae at their most vulnerable.”

The new service is due to launch in January 2015.

We launch new services in Leicestershire and Bristol

Today we launch two new services which means we’re able to help make recovery a reality for even more individuals.

Our new Leicestershire Life Links community based service will provide drop-in, inreach and peer support services across the county.

And our new Bristol Mental Health Employment Service has also gone live as part of an innovative new integrated mental health system in the city.

A broad range of integrated services is being provided by nearly 20 organisations with specialist expertise and experience, coming under the umbrella of Bristol Mental Health. This includes community mental health (including assessment and recovery, crisis support, early intervention in psychosis and complex psychological interventions), community rehabilitation, dementia wellbeing and assertive engagement.

Our employment service is one of the first elements of the new system to go live. We’re working in partnership with Mental Health Matters, Windmill Hill City Farm and the Bristol Somali Resource Centre to provide specialist employment support to people with a mental health problem that is affecting their ability to retain, or seek, employment.

 

We sign up as a supporter of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat

Today Richmond Fellowship signed up as a supporter of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat and pledged to play our part in improving care for people.

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat is a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. It sets out how organisations will work together better to make sure that people in crisis receive urgent mental health care.

The concordat focusses on four main areas: access to support before crisis point; urgent and emergency access to crisis care; quality of treatment and care when in crisis; and recovery and staying well.

At Richmond Fellowship we already run a number of crisis services across England, providing support for people in the community as either an alternative option to an admission to hospital or as a step-down between an inpatient stay and returning home. We’re in discussions with a number of NHS trusts about working in partnership to provide more of these services around the country.

And our services on the ground are working with the local NHS, police and local authorities to develop joint plans of action for how we’ll work together to improve services.

Richmond Fellowship chief executive Derek Caren said: “We’re committed to playing our part in creating joined-up services that can truly provide the best possible care for people with mental health problems, especially in a crisis situation when individuals are at their most vulnerable.

“We know there is a lot of pressure on emergency and inpatient provision but at the same time we know that many individuals could be effectively supported in community settings. We’re keen to forge strong partnerships with local agencies on the ground so that together we can provide effective services that meet people’s needs.”

For more information about the concordat visit: www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk

More than 90% of people using our services said they would recommend Richmond Fellowship to others

More than 90% of people using our services said they would recommend Richmond Fellowship to others – that’s the findings of our latest service user satisfaction survey.

This is the third time we’ve organised the survey and the feedback we’re getting is helping us to continually improve our services.

A summary of the results called Listening and Learning has now been produced and highlights where we’ve done well and where we need to improve.

Positive feedback from the survey included:

  • We listen to individuals about their needs
  • We help them to make progress with their individual support plan
  • We help them to improve the quality of their life.

Areas where service users said we need to do better included:

  • We need to make it easier for people to give feedback or make a complaint
  • We need to respond more quickly and effectively to repairs and maintenance issues
  • Although most people said they feel safe and secure in our services, we need to do more for those living in our care homes and 24hr residential schemes.

The survey was open to anyone using our services and we received around 1,600 responses, nearly a quarter of all our service users.

Grazina Berry, our director of performance, quality and innovation, said: “Given that our philosophy is to put the people we support at the heart of everything we do, we’re especially pleased that most of of the people we support felt listened to about their needs. However, we know we’ve still got work to do to improve the way we handle comments, complaints and feedback and to make our property services better at organising repairs. We’re investing in both these areas to get things right.”

Dorset-wildlife-conservation-volunteers

Volunteering with wildlife helps turn lives around

Volunteers from Richmond Fellowship’s services in Dorset have taken part in conservation tasks with Dorset Wildlife Trust, to help aid their recovery from mental health problems.

A group of service users from our Dorset community-based scheme worked on an area of land recently acquired by The Erica Trust, as an extension to the ‘Happy Bottom’ nature reserve in Corfe Mullen.  The volunteering activity, which is part of the Great Heath Living Landscape project, helped to clear Himalayan Balsam – an invasive species which smothers native plants.

Eric Longworth, who has anxiety and depression, has been volunteering with Dorset Wildlife Trust through our scheme for six months.  He said: “Doing this work outside gives me peace of mind and clarity.  It helps lift my worries.  I would recommend it to anyone trying to overcome anxiety – it’s hard to make the first jump, but works well alongside my medication and it’s a distraction from the things that worry me.  Every time I come out, I learn something different – I saw a bee orchid the other day, which I had never seen before.”

In 2011 Richmond Fellowship volunteers were awarded Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Helen Brotherton’ group volunteering award, in recognition of their commitment and enthusiasm towards wildlife.

Sally Wright, community conservation officer for The Great Heath Living Landscape Project, said: “It’s a real pleasure working with the volunteers from Richmond Fellowship. some are starting our Wildlife Champions award scheme, to recognise their hard work and give them confidence to share their new skills with others in the community.”

Neil Gibson, a Richmond Fellowship community link worker, said: “Volunteering outside is a way to make new friends, socialise and develop an interest in wildlife.  We don’t talk about mental health whilst on volunteering tasks, as spending time outdoors is a good distraction, which can help with recovery.  We like working as a team to help each other out, and are very grateful to the Dorset Wildlife Trust wardens, who are always very accommodating.”

Guildford Daisyfest chance for us to showcase our art

Guildford Daisyfest gave us a chance to showcase the talents of our artists.

The event earlier this month was an opportunity for our community arts scheme Art Matters to show new work and run workshops.

The team showcased ‘Heads Up’ – ‘Who are you looking at?’, an art response to the media’s obsession with ‘perfect’ looks and questions how images from fashion magazines and celebrity media impacts on people with disabilities. Art Matters used collage to create images, changing faces and subverting identities to explore beauty and conformity and asks ‘Who are you looking at?’

They also exhibited ‘A Question of Balance’ print – a recent collaborative work with East Surrey College and the interactive work ‘The Creativity Tree’.

Daisy – Disability Arts in Surrey, organised the two day festival to showcase local talent alongside some of the country’s leading disabled artists.

Find out more about Art Matters.
 

Richmond Fellowship named as part of visionary new mental health system in Bristol

Richmond Fellowship has been named as the new provider for specialist employment and wellbeing services as part of an innovative new integrated mental health system in Bristol.

Subject to a 10 day cooling off period, the contract will be formally agreed with Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group. This follows a rigorous three year tendering process.

A broad range of integrated services will be provided by nearly 20 organisations with specialist expertise and experience, coming under the umbrella of Bristol Mental Health. This will include community mental health (including assessment and recovery, crisis support, early intervention in psychosis and complex psychological interventions), community rehabilitation, dementia wellbeing and assertive engagement.

We will be working in partnership with Mental Health Matters, Windmill Hill City Farm and the Bristol Somali Resource Centre to provide specialist employment support to people with a mental health problem that is affecting their ability to retain, or seek, employment.

Stephen Smith-Trask, assistant director for operations at Richmond Fellowship, said: “We’re delighted to be given this opportunity to make a real difference to people living in Bristol. Having a mental health problem doesn’t have to be a barrier to employment and getting back into work can be a really positive step in someone’s recovery journey.”

Jill Shepherd, chief officer of Bristol CCG, said: “We’re excited that our vision for a different, modern and Bristol based mental health service is finally about to begin.”

We have a strong track record of providing specialist mental health employment support. We already run around 20 employment services across England. In 2013/14, 72% of people who used our services were successfully helped into employment, training, further education or retained their job.

The new look Bristol Employment and Wellbeing Service will launch in October 2014.

Bereavement and suicide themes at special session of the Swindon Employers Network

Swindon Mindful Employers Network, which is managed by RF, is staging a one-off awareness session on the subjects of bereavement and suicide.

This special event will be chaired by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton, who was also formerly vice patron of Richmond Fellowship. He said: “I’m pleased to return to the town and look forward to joining the Swindon Mindful Employer Network once again and hearing from guest speakers about these very difficult matters. We urge local businesses to take the opportunity to come along and find out more.”

The event, on 13 June, aims to provide much needed support and advice to businesses which may have employees experiencing bereavement. It will also focus on suicide and the impact this has on family members, friends and work colleagues and consider the resources there are available in Swindon to provide support.

Guest speakers will include Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, Mandy Rutter of Validium, Mary Mooney of Lift Psychology, Linda Morgan of The Samaritans and Jacqueline Parry of SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide). Cormac MacMahon, news editor of Heart FM, will present an interview and Q&A session with the guest speakers.

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, said: “Everyone experiences tragedy and bereavement at some point in their lives – it’s simply unavoidable. At these extremely difficult times, work colleagues can play such an important role.  People experiencing bereavement may possibly feel very isolated and suffer from mental health issues. Managers need professional guidance during these periods – and considerable patience and understanding.”

Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, who is speaking about suicide at the event, said: “Employers may be surprised at the number of people bereaved by suicide and the particular impact that has on their life. Sadly since 2007 we’ve seen an increase in the number of suicides nationally and locally. Many people attribute this to the financial impact of the recession.

“There are actions that employers and particularly line managers can take to support those affected that will make a significant difference. This session will help explore some of these issues and help employers become more aware of the risk factors and support available.”

he event will be held at Jurys Inn Swindon Hotel on 13 June and attendance is free to local employers.

Booking is essential on smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk

Kirklees Employment Support awarded grant

We’re very pleased to announce that our Kirklees employment service has won a grant of £95,095 through the Job Centre Plus as part of the DWP Flexible Support Fund.

The grant will fund a one year programme working with pre-Work Programme claimants presenting with mental health issues. The service will offer a focused programme of activity over a 12 week period to support people into paid or voluntary work or other provision, such as education.  The project will work with people in Kirklees and Calderdale and it’s a great opportunity for us to extend our employment services into Calderdale where there is currently no service at all. It will be a way for us to begin building relationships with other agencies and further develop conversations with Calderdale mental health commissioners about the need for a full service in the area, which we will be well placed to deliver.

Well done to everyone who played a part in securing this vital funding.

For further information about employment services in the Kirklees area please click here.