United Kingdom - List of Projects

 


We have a number of projects in UK, please click the tabs below to find out more about each project.

Phoenix_Project.gifLondon

Peer Support Programme, The Red Phoenix, Ealing:

Concern For Mental Health Contributes to The Phoenix Project. The program is run by volunteers who have been there themselves. 

Mental health peer support Goals:
•Providing emotional support and self-development through weekly individual sessions to build confidence, self-esteem, combat depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. 
•Encouraging, and motivating clients to take up meaningful activities, volunteering opportunities and paid work when they are ready. 
•Reducing isolation, extending the social network of friends enables the clients’ wellbeing and recovery.


Café Club Social, a Peer support Network Organise social groups in Cafes, providing space  and meeting rooms,  real friends, real coffee, real support by Service users who  were ill themselves at one time , and have a real understanding of recovered  members of the community .People with mental disabilities need to feel valued . They can combat their isolation by making friends and contacts, sharing information, provide practical help in these social settings.

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CFMH supports ‘Chance to Change’

Tackling the root cause of offending through therapeutic intervention

Chance 2 Change is the core project of Beyond Youth CIC and its rationale follows a three practice approach which is:

  1. Group psychotherapy using the methods of Dr Irvin D Yalom
  2. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as pioneered by Dr Aaron Beck
  3. The Addiction Treatment Programme as overseen by Dr Neil Brener.

In creating this programme, evidence and experience has been drawn upon from all 3 approaches and applied to the client group which demonstrates an inability to understand or regulate their own behaviour.

Prisoners can often struggle to make sense of life events and can lack the emotional intelligence and self-awareness to understand either themselves or their behaviour patterns.

The central premise of the rationale behind Chance 2 Change is that behaviours are learnt from the environment we are brought up in, for example, if we learn that we are not cared for by those responsible for nurturing, it is impossible to know how to care for ourselves or others therefore there is no ability to perceive the victims perspective. Further traumatic childhood issues can create co-dependence and the primary feature of co-dependence is abandonment of self, which means adapting ourselves to fit in with others. Chance 2 Change encourages prisoners to first identify, secondly acknowledge, thirdly understand, fourthly respect and finally bring about steps to change.

                        This intervention averages a 74% non-reconviction rate

Key Facts about Chance 2 Change

  1. The course is voluntary, with self-referral frequent
  2. Our attendance rate is high (98% completion rate)
  3. Delivery is flexible – typically the eight two-hour sessions are delivered over a period of 2/3 weeks. It can also be delivered in relation to the end of the prison sentence.
  4. The course is short (16 hours in total), making it attractive to prison management
  5. Support beyond delivery can be provided by our facilitator, which is in contrast to other behavioural courses in prison.

“I would say Chance 2 Change is the most positive course I have ever done even out of jail and the facilitator is the best teacher. She will listen to you, she is understanding and best of all she don’t judge you”.
www.beyondyouth.org.uk

Award to Young People/YOPEY

Winners
Lydia Banton, Charlotte Cox, Ciara Dineen, Gracie Powell, Antony Sibley

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A group of Bedfordshire teenagers are raising awareness of mental health.

Young people who have used 'CHUMS', the Bereavement Trauma & Emotional Well being Service, at Child Services of NHS, have formed a group called Connect. Overseen by CHUMS participation officer Niki Scott said “This is a group of amazing young people. They work together to help raise awareness of mental health issues that young people face and fight to reduce the stigma attached.“The members of the group give up their free time and are all passionate and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly together to raise awareness and educate other young people and adults.”


The members of Connect meet once a week to discuss current issues and ideas that might affect them on a daily basis. Part of the draw for the youngsters is to meet others who may be suffering from similar mental health issues.


The group held a workshop about young people accessing mental health services for NHS professionals Gracie Powell who has been helped by CHUMS for anxiety issues and clinical depression, now promotes it by speaking at local conferences, schools and on the radio. Members of the group are working on a short film to be shown in schools. “The film gives us a chance to fight the stigma of mental health issues in young people.


Another Connect member who is heavily involved in promotional work is Antony Sibley, he suffered anxiety attacks. He helps run the magazine. “We work together to fill it with important features plus concert and film reviews and the like.”Ciara Dineen, suffering from severeOCD(ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder),isalsoamemberofthegroup:“The group is so welcoming and has understood my issues. ”Another member Lydia Banton said: "CHUMS has helped me through a difficult, lonely time due to my Dad having mental health problems.” Charlotte Cox lost her best friend to cancer. “The bereavement service at CHUMS really helped me come to terms with my loss.”

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www.youngpeopleoftheyear.org

 

Success Story

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Sam Carvalho has become a successful online agony uncle helping young people in Britain and abroad with their problems.


He has particularly helped teenagers struggling to cope with eating orders, depression and self-harm – something he knows about himself as a former sufferer.


But as well as providing advice, support and encouragement, the kind-hearted 22- year old has helped raise money for charities.


Sam's started with bulimia, anorexia and depression when he was 13. This included hardly eating and then at other times binging and then bringing food back up. He also did excessive exercise.


It is thought his condition was prompted by a comment somebody made at school about his figure. His weight went down from eight to six stones. “I managed to hide it from my parents until I was about 16,” he said.


He has been on and off anti-depressants ever since.


In 2012 Sam had the idea of setting up a support website for others –

www.standupstaystrong.com – having already established himself as a great success on social media sites. He has over 124,000 followers on Twitter The response has been amazing, people contact him not only from Cambridge, where he has received lots of publicity in local media, but also from the rest of the UK and from every continent.


Requests for advice come to him via the website and Twitter. Sam is not a professional medic and whenever anyone visits his website, a warning flashes up: Always contact the emergency services if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.


People usually often just needed someone to talk to other than family and friends, sometimes because they are afraid or embarrassed. “Sam believes a few of his discussions have been life-saving. “Some have said that they were going to harm themselves or take overdoses but have since changed their mind.”


Sam believes eating disorders are a growing problem for both sexes. “Although the perception is that eating disorders usually affect only females it can be quite common in teenage boys, as in my case.”


One of the few things he can still do is be an ambassador for the charity YOPEY, which made him Cambridge shire's Young Person of the Year in 2013. For this charity he attends events and adds a touch of glamour – the good-looking lad used to be a model.

Young people help reduce stigma  for Mental Illness

CFMH gives 2 awards to young people eeach year  at the Annual Ball. They are selected because they voluntarily contribute in the Community to familiarize people with Mental illness, carrying the message that mental illness  can be spoken about without embarrassment, and it can be treated. It is a message of hope.

Yopey /CFMH Award winner 2017 Jodie Goodacre

Yopey_1.pngThe suicide of a friend jolted her from a downward spiral which had seen her attempt to take her own life,  it inspired her to become a voice for young people affected by the stigma of mental ill-health.

Her  campaigning on mental health  includes Volunteering  with ‘Time to Change’ taking the message to schools in the county ,organizing  events, being a Media commentator and inspiring others to be open about their own challenges.

Jodie has spoken frankly to students around the country about her battle with mental health, including self-harming at 16, a suicide bid at the age of 18 and her eventual diagnosis. The girl whose self-confidence plummeted when injury halted her dream of a sporting career, is now in demand from television and radio as a commentator on mental health.

At age 16  she began to self-harm .At the age of 18 she tried to take her own life.

Six months after her  attempt, a close family friend took his own life. “We grew up together: ‘It was the jolt I needed and it opened my eyes to what was going on in my life , things needed to change. I didn’t want anyone else to go through what he went through and, what his family, friends and I were feeling’.

Her friend’s death gave Jodie "the passion to fight for others, not feeling alone like he did. And rather than just wanting to change I realized I had to make change happen.

“I am living with a mental illness rather than fighting it.  I have an illness but it does not define me and I want to encourage others to do the same.”  she said.

‘The hardest part of the stigma around mental health is not being able to talk openly about it as you would with a physical health problem,’ said Jodie. She has tried to break the stigma , “It is nice to be out there and making a difference  for those less able to have their voice heard, I can be their voice. The door is opening on mental illness.

Yopey /CFMH Award winner  2017 Roshni Patel

Yopey_3.pngRoshni Patel publishes a newsletter Called Positivity for other young people with eating disorders , circulated in mental health clinic waiting rooms .The newsletter came out several times last year. Roshni writes all of the articles herself with ideas of coping strategies that she  was given while in hospital .

Roshni would like a career in mental health services.

Her eating disorder at age 14 led to admission into an eating-disorder clinic for eight weeks .

Since then, around stressful periods, her weight reduces.”

Roshni took the very brave decision to speak to school assemblies and classes about her experiences. Her head of school said: “To speak with both passion and clarity about such personal matters to five audiences of nearly 400 each took enormous courage. She earned the respect of staff and students alike. ‘ I could tell from the silence in the room that Roshni's words had a profound impact and encouraged students to reflect on the issue.

YOPEY Awards

Free Me - Beating Eating Disorders

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Concern for Mental Health is pleased to support Free Me, in London, providing free care and support for young women recovering from eating disorders and addictions, through the unique mode of jewellery making.

The four month program offers individual/group therapy, drama/movement therapy, and nutritional counseling with a registered dietician. They also offer monthly workshops on CV writing and interview coaching with 'Side Kicks', an organizationspecializing in that.

Free me is a registered charity which has set up a social enterprise "Sweet Cavenaugh" by which the jewellery is sold through a variety of outlets.

www.free-me.com

The Prison Reform Trust

CFMH supported The Prison Reform Trust in developing and updating their on-line resources for justice providers and users of the service, thus enhancing the knowledge in mental health and learning disabilities in the criminal courts.


An amount of £5000 from the High Sheriff's (2015) chosen charity Concern for Mental Health, contributed to the excellent work of the Prison Reform Trust in developing resource material. The section on achieving effective communication in court and creating a new section on autism was a valuable addition. Speakers were also sponsored.


The online resource, Mental health, autism & learning disabilities in the criminal courts, can be accessed at: www.mhldcc.org.uk

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Members of the Working for Justice Group (offenders with learning issues) need particular support. The speakers this year covered topics like awareness/training in learning disability, autism and mental health, supporting effective communication in court, information about liaison and diversion services and how members of the judiciary can engage with and benefit from these services, and recognizing when reasonable adjustments in the courts might be necessary and how these can be implemented. This, in turn, has helped to ensure that some of our most vulnerable court users are dealt with appropriately and fairly.

In 2009, Lord Bradley's review into people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the criminal justice system recommended awareness training for criminal justice staff and members of the judiciary.

Together with Rethink Mental Illness, and in collaboration with the Magistrates' Association, the Justices' Clerks' Society and the Judicial College, The Prison Reform Trust developed an online resource for magistrates, district judges and court staff, which was launched in 2013. The resource, which is well used with an average 500 unique users/month, stimulated demand for awareness training for local branches of the Magistrates' Association and annual training for District Judges; The Prison Reform Trust supported these events by providing speakers.

Feedback from Users of the Resource Book

One magistrate said:

“Useful is a word that completely undersells this presentation. Jenny is really an expert in her field, with a gift of engaging with and explaining to us the key issues and sensitivity to the needs of others.”

The value of hearing from individuals with particular support needs and direct experience of the criminal courts is especially significant. One magistrate said:

“Waine highlighted problems encountered [in court] and how these could have been overcome. His input was particularly useful.”

Two magistrates said:

“I now know there are things that I can do in court that can make a difference for people who might be struggling to understand; and that makes me feel more confident.”

“I didn't know about intermediaries or that we, as magistrates, can ask for additional support.”

One district judge explained how she had changed the way in which she spoke to defendants who appeared vulnerable and, in particular, how she had checked that a particular defendant had understood what was happening in court, and the implication of the sentencing decision.