How our services are adapting to provide great care during Covid-19

22/05/2020

Social care at its very essence is providing support to those who need it. Support to return to their community, to reintegrate into that community, or – often - to maintain their position within it. That’s why it is such a critical element of providing communities that care for people severely affected by mental illness. It’s been a real inspiration to see how staff in our services and groups across the country have adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide the best possible care. Here’s some examples:


“Staff have only been too willing to keep trying”

Laszlo Szomoru, North East Prisons IAPT:

It has been truly amazing to see Rethink staff maintaining the best service we can deliver in these challenging Covid times. Trying to get into the Prisons has been difficult enough, but to then try and see prisoners, whether it’s for assessment or treatment and comply with social distancing and the challenges with prison staff shortages, well that’s a whole new level. Yet despite this, staff have only been too willing to keep trying, to change their working hours, to work later, to stay longer and work on days when they normally wouldn’t, putting their client’s needs first.”

“He would have ended up making a quick return to jail if not for her”

Laszlo Szomoru, North East Prisons IAPT, about a person that colleague Amelia has been working with:

“He was released from prison Friday evening, after hours, no money, no medication. He slept rough through the weekend and in desperation rang Amelia, Mental Health Care Navigator on Monday morning. Amelia came to the rescue, meeting up and praising him for steering clear of trouble which was a challenge for him. After a few phone calls, he had accommodation, he had a benefits claim and he had new warm clothes. He told Amelia that he would have ended up making a quick return to jail if not for her.”

“Our callers all receive an injection of hope”

Barry Cooper, Registered Service Manager, Doncaster Helpline:

“Our Helpline has seen a significant rise in anxiety-based calls since April. Clearly, virus anxiety is impacting mental health and may result in a second wave much longer and deeper than the disease itself. Although we only have one phone line we have been able to answer additional calls through forwarding the Helpline to home-working staff and volunteers at busy periods. Our callers all receive an injection of hope so they can carry on during these challenging times.”

“Callers have repeatedly stated they have found the chance to speak invaluable”

Michael Russon, Registered Service Manager, Sheffield Crisis House and Helpline:

“At the Sheffield Crisis House's Helpline, we have provided emotional support to a wide range of callers, many who are finding lockdown particularly challenging, by giving them the opportunity to express their distress and to sign post them to an array of online coping and distraction strategies and apps, that they very often weren't aware of prior to calling. The team have provided reassurance to callers experiencing raised levels of anxiety, validating their concerns and instilling hope, helping callers to consider enjoyable things to come. Callers have repeatedly stated they have found the chance to speak invaluable.”

“Providing a seamless transition for service users”

Katie Foulser, Head of Community Services South:

“Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline has adapted with considerable ease to a home working environment, providing a seamless transition for service user’s whose connections with others play a vital role in their mental wellbeing. There has been considerable impact on our service user’s who have struggled with the lockdown experiencing increased levels of distress and talking of feeling “trapped” and “isolated”. Our technology enables home working to be a key aspect of the Helpline contingency plan and we have been able to offer this to the team on a regular basis in the past.”

Join us as we seek to provide communities that care for people severely affected by mental illness. Here’s five ways that you can get involved.

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