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CURRENT PROJECT

YOU, ME, BODY AND MIND PROJECT

The project is to run a programme to help the BAME community, especially the elder’s over 60’s and their carers to manage and deal with low-level mental health, anxiety and depression by complementing and supporting the work done currently by the primary health care services, to prevent conditions from worsening and preventing individuals from being hospitalised short or long term. We will also undertake activities to improve quality of life, by delivering health and well-being programmes.

Continuing to provide support to BAME elders to reduce isolation and help each develop the confidence, skills and knowledge to be able to access the services they need without our support. There will be an emphasis on health and well-being, including COVID-19 issues, increase opportunities and their carers to undertake physical activities, improve their eating habits, and advice on benefits, money management and service access. We will focus on those services we are best placed to provide and referring on for others.

The core catchment area of this project is the inner city Birmingham wards of Aston, Ladywood, Handsworth and Lozells – which are recorded to be some of the most deprived wards in the whole country. Over 60% of the population consist of non – white ethnic minority communities.

The BAME communities in the area suffers from multiple deprivation, lack of employment opportunities, poor health conditions and a large number of these people live in poor quality housing. Elderly pensioners and people with disabilities living in the area will be targeted by this Project who will benefit from awareness and better opportunities to make claims for and get more help with mental well being – which in turn will mean better chances in life.

We aim to get the community to recognise that mental health is not a disease but a hidden illness, alleviate the stigma attached to all forms of mental health, and help individuals to lead healthier better fuller lives, though education training and empowerment programmes.

Our proposal is to run a programme to help the BAME community, especially elder’s over 60’s and their carers (19+) to manage and deal with low level mental health, anxiety and depression, complementing and supporting the work done currently by the primary health care services, to prevent conditions from worsening and preventing individuals from being hospitalised short or long term. Also to improve quality of life, by delivering health and well-being programmes.

Covid-19 has exacerbated the position and highlighted the disparity of impact on the BAME Community resulting in extra burden on primary health services, which are not always sensitive to their specific needs. This project will provide a culturally sensitive gateway for vulnerable elder’s and their carers from the BAME communities so they won’t be feel neglected and can receive targeted assistance.

The project aims to broaden and increase the opportunities for older people and their carers to undertake physical activities, improve their eating habits and financial stability, which will contribute to an overall improvement in mental health.

There are a number of factors that impact on older people’s ability or motivation to take part in regular physical activity, which include continued lock-downs, a decline in health, difficulties accessing forms of exercise and lack of understanding of the positive impact of physical activity. Our Walk & Talk events will highlight the importance of regular breaks away from home, providing service user with an opportunity to stretch their legs and get away from their house. Not only will service users get the chance to visit with other people of their age, but they also can strengthen their body and improve their mental attitude.

 

Similar challenges face older people and their carers in achieving and sustaining a healthy diet; factors such as disability and co-morbidities / care responsibilities / may reduce ability and motivation to obtain food and cook; difficulties in obtaining and affording healthy food especially lack of IT skills to order grocery online, as well as a lack of awareness of the impact of poor diet can have an effect on physical and mental health.

Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make our service user’s mental health worse.

Overall this project aims to;

Reduce isolation

• Improve health and wellbeing through reduced weight, more effective ways to avoid or manage diabetes, more effective COVID-19 safety measures and vaccine takeup, and greater openness in addressing mental health issues.

• Improve English language and IT skills enabling increased communication

• Reduce poverty by increasing beneficiaries’ understanding of benefits and of money/debt management techniques.

• Improve access to health, training, housing and other mainstream services.

• Improve confidence

 For further information, please contact us on 01215230580