The Mental Health Network does not limit itself to leading on projects. We support partners and stakeholders in delivery of their own work to improve services for mental health patients and carers. These partners include patient groups and third sector organisations as well as primary, secondary and tertiary care providers. We are uniquely placed to facilitate communication and joint working to help our partners deliver on a diverse array of project work.
Current project work that we are supporting our partners to deliver include:
Suicide Prevention Workshops in co-operation with Bolton CCG
Working in partnership with Bolton CCG, the voluntary sector and community groups GMLSC SCN has supported the delivery of three suicide prevention workshops across Bolton, GM. The SCN has helped the CCG to engage with specific local communities to reduce the health inequality in service provision to some hard to reach groups.
Suicide rates in Bolton between 2011 – 2013 were the second highest across 12 CCGs in Greater Manchester. There were 93 suicides in the borough over a three-year period – equivalent to almost 12 for every 100,000 people living in the town.
During 2012 – 2014 the number of suicides has dropped by 16 to 77. Bolton now has the 9th highest suicide rate across Greater Manchester.
Holding a workshop in a community setting enables the SCN to tackle mental health issues working in partnership with BAME communities and through the provision of education and awareness raising empowers the community to breakdown traditional barriers and stigmatism towards suicide and mental health.
Tackling Depression in vulnerable communities
The SCN received a request from one of the Voluntary Community Groups based in Oldham, The Gazhali Trust Community Organisation; to assist them in a drive to increase awareness and reduce depression and suicide. A problem which is common in the Asian community and in particular, Asian women. The SCN responded positively to the request to support the BME voluntary group to reach out to communities to reduce health inequalities.
There has been a huge concern over the number of suicide deaths among the Asian Women Community and this project is set to increase awareness of depression within the Asian Community. The Gazhali Trust Community Organisation, has experience of engaging with vulnerable groups, in particularl BAME women who have higher rates of depression in Oldham.
Two workshops will be run in April and they will cover the following key areas:
i) Sharing of personal experiences by people who have suffered depression.
ii) Key issues that cause depression in vulnerable groups and supporting people with depression in the local area
iii) Presentation by professionals in the Mental Health
Supporting Commissioners Leadership
The Strategic Clinical Network supported the National CCG Mental Health Commissioning Leadership work programme by supporting Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director Mental Health. The SCN has brought together commissioners and providers to share best practice, innovations in Mental Health leadership and to discuss the future priorities of the mental health agenda both locally and nationally.
The SCN has been able to build momentum around prevention of mental ill health, and especially focused on the positive impact the Crisis Concordat movement has had on mental health services across GM.
Supporting Voluntary Sector Leadership
One of the gaps we identified was a lack of leadership in the voluntary sector for mental health. To build on a mental health leadership programme (mentioned in the section above), the SCN in partnership with the University of Manchester to help voluntary leaders.
Over 70 organisations joined the GMLSC SCN Mental Health team at the Manchester Business School to participate in the first Mental Health Leadership Programme designed for the voluntary sector and organisations working with seldom heard groups. We had representatives from MIND, Turning Point, Health-watch and BME attended the programme.
This programme supported the Five Year Forward View and national mental health priorities to develop voluntary sector leaders, not just at a national level, but also locally; to bring different groups together and empower local voluntary organisations to lead change. One of the ideas generated, was to explore the establishment of a Mental Health Voluntary Sector Leadership Group/Network supported by the GMLSC SCNs.