Well – Being

Many of the issues facing people with mental illness from black and minority ethnic groups (BME) are the same as their white British counterparts. Stigma, difficulties in everyday life such as problems with housing, being accepted by friends and family and finding or keeping work, are all issues that are commonly reported by those with mental health difficulties regardless of culture and background.  Mental health problems associated with physical illness can increase healthcare costs by more than 45% according to some international studies, which, if applied to NHS expenditure could mean that £8-13 billion of long-term physical health care costs are due to poor mental health. As part of the Let’s Talk Consortium Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association has been tackling health inequalities by delivering emotional wellbeing support for BME women in Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton. As partners of the Lets Talk Consortium we have been able to work together to share skills, experiences and resources as well as support each other within this project.  The Consortium has in kind made saving of £1300 for accessing our venue to deliver training such as the bereavement training and to hold meetings, volunteers time in total 777hrs based on the six months the social value of saving is £5439.

Consortium we have been able to work together to share skills, experiences and resources as well as support each other within this project

  • We received funding from the CCG in April 2014 to be part of Let’s Talk Project partnership.
  • Our 4 staff and 2 volunteers have gained an accredited qualification in Counselling and Listening skills (level 2) this allows them to work as bereavement support volunteers.
  • Through our work we recognised that bereavement and mental health is on the increase in the BME communities but no suitable support service is available.
  • Within our Let’s Talk project the team decided that this service was much needed, thus, our staff and volunteers have gained the qualification. Ten volunteers will also receive training in level 2 in listening skills so that they can support women in our befriending scheme which will begin in the New Year.
  • The project will support anyone bereaved or struggling with issues of loss and grief. RWWA specifically will be supporting BME women to access the bereavement support, counselling and befriending service

This project has been funded by the CCG for one year, the purpose of this project is to support women to manage their own health well-being and symptoms of their conditions. Also to promote and support a healthy lifestyle, gaining independence and to support women with dementia including careers and families. This project has started to bring women together in order to reduce social isolation and help women feel they belong to the club. The women have established friendships amongst each other, received emotional support and overcame the chronic isolation that service users have experienced. Activities are designed to encourage shared ownership of the project and provide ways for members to contribute to the local community. By delivering this project our aim was to provide Mental Health and Wellbeing service provision by promoting early intervention, and delivering prevention activities. By coming out of their isolation the women have reduced their loneliness and got actively involved in the programme which we have designed according to the women’s needs. Within the service we provide women information about healthy lifestyles, delivering programs on stress management, support and information on dementia, etc. We also carry out partnership work by networking with organisation such as Mind, NHS, Gaddum, etc.

Our service flexibly responds to the needs of the women from the local communities with an integrated and coordinated approach ensuring the best use of resources. Working on the “health is wealth” is project we have been able to target women who were very isolated in their own homes with various health issues including mental health. We have been able to assess the client’s needs and where appropriate develop a personalised plan of support and long term goals that is responsive to their needs. Our programme helps our clients to stay positive and motivated in making changes to their lifestyle. We have been able to support 35 BME women who are residents from deprived/hard to reach groups.

We networking with Jackmccan court to deliver armchair with Age UK and have the women come to our lunch club every Tuesday. We are making plans to work with the residence of Jackmccan to do more things around health.