Transforming West Cumbria, mid-term report 2023

PAGE 28 | TRANSFORMING WEST CUMBRIA TRANSFORMING WEST CUMBRIA | PAGE 29 “Dad was supported through the Together We Talk programme but previously the family would have not had support if the child was under 11,” says Sam. “Dad is doing wonderfully, moving forward in our recovery programme and has recently progressed to being a volunteer. “But his daughter had struggled with getting to school and feeling low and her parents were worried she was taking on Dad’s issues. Mum became the sole earner and the child was just surviving.” Together We practitioners helped the girl build her confidence and learn mental health skills. “Parents are involved so they can continue with what they have learned at home,” says Sam. With five to eight-year-olds, parents can be shown how to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or ‘deciders skills’ for managing emotions. School-based sessions were an extension of Together We’s work with teenage pupils following the realisation some would have benefitted from help at a younger age. Using a specially-designed workbook, five to 11-year-olds are guided through themes including recognising and managing emotions, anxiety, healthy eating and sleep routines. “Ninety-nine per cent of participants have said they have been able to learn how to manage their emotions, and there has been good feedback from schools about how ageappropriate it is,” says Sam. To date, the scheme has been delivered in four schools to 250 youngsters. In total, including the one-to-one service, 326 children have been helped. Children are referred to Together We services by statutory services including GPs and schools. “The Family Wellbeing funding has contributed towards us having new practitioners and maintained jobs, as well as expanding our service,” says Sam. “In West Cumbria, we have a high suicide rate and a high rate of deprivation. There’s a lack of mental health support in the area. The great thing about Transforming West Cumbria is it unites partners to deliver programmes that interlink and create a robust mental health offer.” Sam says demand has risen. Together We’s talking therapy service was seeing 80 people shortly after the start of the pandemic. “We now see 1,000 people a year, and currently have more than 850 people actively getting support.” Janine Ward and Sam Joughin from Together We at Cumbria Social Enterprise Awards The aim of this scheme is to provide comprehensive support to children, young people and adults struggling with anxiety, depression or other issues that affect their mental health, and to build more sustainable and collaborative third sector mental health provision. Mental ill health is a significant issue in West Cumbria, as elsewhere, and its impact has been aggravated by both the pandemic and cost of living crisis. Official statistics show that 10% of people aged 16-plus in Cumbria report low happiness while 22% experience high anxiety. The county saw 940 hospital admissions for self-harm in 2019/20 and 183 suicides between 2018 and 2020. The West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership (WCMHP) was funded by Sellafield Ltd in response to those pressures and connects people with a range of community mental health support services. It is led by three organisations which each coordinate the work of a range of different delivery partners. Groundwork North East & Started June 2020 Partnership made up of 20 funded organisations and 30-plus non funded £1,230,204 awarded to 3 partnerships Outputs delivered to date: ∞ 7,447 adults supported in total ∞ 1,665 children and young people supported in total Outcomes achieved to date: ∞ 61% reported improved mental health or wellbeing ∞ 58% reported increased self-esteem and confidence ∞ 57% reported increased resilience and/or self-care ∞ 58% reported a reduction in stress and anxiety Increasing mental health provision The West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership was formed to bring comprehensive mental health and wellbeing support to people experiencing low level mental health issues. Having the right support helps to create a healthy, happy, productive and ambitious society Cumbria leads on support for adults, while Cumbria Youth Alliance leads on support for children and young people. West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership