I have been ruminating about for a while, especially when I was at Maximus under the ESA WRAG program the government and DWP felt I was capable of work. I have also seen how stretched the Mental Health Trust in my area is, and how long people have had to wait for therapy services, add to that the amounts of cutbacks the government has made to the services as well.
I do not know if this is going to work, or if this is a good idea, it is just something that has been going through my mind for a very long time. This is also a work in progress, so I will be adding to this from time to time too, because this is just a draft.
Please let me know what you think, and feel free to comment and add points, or ask me to change parts, I am very open to ideas.
My idea is to have all the charities, businesses, and departments work together so that people with mental health problems could get help, but also bring more to NHS Trusts. I know this is something you are working on at the moment, and it is great to see that local places in the area are trying to help.
Therefore, a lot more people could get help during waiting for treatment from local community centers, and community therapies. As well as having other service users, help other service users, or peer to peer, which would be good for people who find it hard to go outside to make a friend and go to places. Key workers and social workers could pop into these places to have a chat about what is going on, and keep an eye.
People with mental health problems do not like to go outside, maybe have to live off food banks because of benefits being sanctioned, and are deeply depressed. This could be applicable for some elderly people who live alone, do not have family, or their family live far away from them and have mental health problems, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, people with autism, and disabilities.
To me this would take a lot of pressure off NHS Trusts, who already find it hard to fund therapies and new therapists for their communities, which sometimes are linked with more than one borough’s.
The DWP could be involved, and should be connected with charities like Shaw Trust, Remploy, and others in the community. There should be more contact between the DWP and Mental Health Trusts and GP’s, where there is more contact between the concerning benefits, especially those on WRAG and JSA. The Job Centre is very good at pressuring and treating people with mental health problems terribly and it would be nice if the staff of the DWP treated these people better.
I do not know if this would be possible, but starting slowly might be the key to start and see what does happen with this idea, and the fact it needs to be talked through with the relevant people and organizations to see what they think.
It would also be helpful to consult clients on this, to see how they feel about this prospect. Whether they feel it would be too much, or far too little, and if this will need funding, or if clients will need to pay a small fee for these services.
This would also be good in keeping people well, benefiting the patients and helping the Mental Health Trusts with their waiting times, the same with GP’s, although there should be more check-ups on people. While people with severe mental health problems get the help they need quicker, and would benefit from the community centers too.
The Mental Health Resource Hub would be a nice place to add to this, I have plans to provide a space where people can meet people, classes for those who want to learn new things. Whereby they can learn about their mental health problems, get help looking for a job, have crafting and art, provide trips to the supermarket, have professionals come in and talk about mental health, psychology so people can ask understand.
Leading to having doctors and nurses come to do check-ups on people who are scared of going to the doctors, haircuts, massages, and ways for people to look after themselves. People will get used to the people and are more likely to go spend time there and look after themselves, or go to places that they would not usually spend time going. People will recommend going, and businesses and charities will get more trade and people using their services in the community.
I would also like to provide food for people, especially those who are not getting the money they need from their benefits, or are on a low wage, so at least they can have a good meal. Deliver food from foodbanks to people, and even take people to foodbanks to get food for themselves and their family. Have coffee mornings, take people to the movies on quiet days, have movie nights at the Hub, take clients on trips, and maybe have a comfort animal come in to give people comfort and to also let clients come on walks with me and other staff members.
With the job recruitment part, I would like to be an advisor, or at least have advisors to help people with mental health problems find the job that will fulfil them, as well as be flexible and understand mental health problems. There needs to be more training for local businesses and employers to understand mental health problems, and be more willing to be flexible and understanding.
I know Shaw Trust do something like this, but when I had it, nothing happened and I was just left to fend for myself. This would be a great opportunity to ask people what they would think of these subjects, to contribute their ideas, and ideally, in a place where they do not feel pressured or influenced by other people.
There should be more information provided about people with mental health problems setting up their own businesses, what support they will get from different sources. It would be great for people with mental health problems to have the freedom to work for themselves and be supported as much as they need or want to be. Also, be there for other people when they first start on the road to self-employment, acting like mentors and such, and can bring to the hub to talk to groups or individuals.
Another sector, which might be good to bring into talk, is local council members and our local MP, where they can explain their jobs and departments, as well as troubleshoot problems in private for people who are unable to talk on the phone, or go to the council themselves. Either this could be a weekly thing, or a monthly thing, but at least people would have more of an understanding of what goes on at the councils departments, and feel assured they will get problems dealt with. The Job Centre, Citizens Advice, and other places could do this with people, it would give people reason to feel confidence in going, and the willpower to get problems dealt with. This could also include learning to budget, whether they are able to receive other kinds of help with rent, child tax credit, extra benefits, or working tax credits.
I would like to try to help people write letters to people and institutions such as property owners, DWP, etc. As well as providing help filling in forms, such as job applications, and application forms for benefits.
Otherwise, ask a Key Worker to try to help.
As there are some people who may need more help, and knowing they will be understood and served in a respectful manner will help people with mental health problems know they will be in safe hands, and encourage them to go to the offices themselves, giving them confidence and some kind of independence. This would be particularly good for people with severe mental health problems, severe anxiety, and severe depression to work to go to important places and take care of their needs.
There is also the opportunity to work with people using CBT Techniques to use for everyday real life things, rather than just in a classroom, to change some things, and make a start to be independent. As well as other psychological techniques, that could be used to help people with their daily living.