The third national lockdown has once again presented many of us with the same challenges we faced throughout much of 2020.
Alex, who lives at Larchfield Community, and support worker Debbie knew that after the stress of the first lockdown, many people would welcome extra support. They researched online resources and prepared a four-week Zoom course on mental health and wellbeing. Almost 20 people from our different communities took part.
Alex and Debbie worked together with others to co-produce a workbook around mental health to support the online course. The workbook explored themes such as;
- What is mental health?
- What can I do to feel better?
- Where can I get further help?
A place to talk and share
Although the four-week course has been completed, many participants were keen to carry on. The workbook that Alex and Debbie produced for their course is now being shared in all our communities. We’re holding a weekly mental health ‘drop-in’ session on Zoom and training more staff to be mental health first aiders.
‘It’s good to raise awareness. People are sharing more about the impact Covid-19 is having on their mental health,’ says Debbie. Alex agrees that the Zoom sessions are a good idea.
‘People turn up with a cup of tea and we chat, share worries or concerns, tell jokes and catch up with friends.’
Following on from the course, Alex and Debbie co-produced a survey which was sent out to our community members.
‘The aim of the survey was to find out what people wanted more information on. That way we can target our support and the activities we deliver and see which areas need improvement,’ says Debbie.
Sharing our ideas and resources
Alex and Debbie were recently invited to speak at the Learning Disability England forum, themed ‘Covid, what we have learned so far’. The session was held on Zoom with many other friends and people supported in attendance from across the learning disability sector.
Phil Gibson, co-production project manager said, ‘They were brilliant and I have been contacted by other groups to say we are really leading the way in promoting the mental well being of people.’
You can view the forum below in full. Or head to 1.06.52 to see Alex and Debbie’s presentation.