Our experience has shown that the stability of an individual’s mental health can best be improved if we first take the time to develop a trusting, professional relationship between themselves and us. Through this working relationship we are able to help individuals see the benefit in small, gradual and lasting changes which include:
- An increased awareness of their personal mental health issues together with self-education
- An increased engagement with mental health professionals
- Improved medication compliance together with the developing of progressive relationships with medical staff in order to devise medication regimes which support best outcomes
- A decrease in the use of street drugs and improvement of individuals understanding of their potential impact upon mental health
- Reduction in hospital admissions
Many people in the process of recovering from a spell of poor mental health can neglect their physical health. Poor physical health can also become a stressor and trigger towards poor mental health. Avondalecare therefore try to help individuals maintain good physical health by:
- Helping service users to improve their engagement with medical staff, acting as an advocate where required.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle through arranging enjoyable physical activity at the Social Inclusion Centre such as gym, football, badminton, bowling and walking.
- Help individuals register with all health professionals and facilitate regular checkups and any ancillary medical intervention.
- Promotion of healthy lifestyles through one to one contact and helping individuals improve in their own self-education regarding healthy lifestyles
- Facilitation of KCA support services for service users with addictions which affect physical health.
We believe that emotional stability is essential to developing long term good mental health. Accepting past trauma and developing positive, healthy relationships takes time and new skills may have to be learned. Avondalecare works to help this process through:
- Providing one to one support from qualified staff in response to perceived need.
- Training all staff in SFA (Solution Focused Approaches) so that we can actively encourage service users to develop their own solutions to their problems.
- Promoting helpful family engagement. By spending one to one time with clients we can encourage positive attitudes towards family where appropriate and help improve communication skills and respect through the example of our own professional relationship.
- Providing access to helpful therapies of an individual’s choosing such as counselling, reflexology and therapeutic massage.
Avondalecare believes that financial stress leads to poorer mental health and so also provides:
- Advice and support on budgeting through one to one support.
- Facilitation of advice from CAB.
- Support to claim all necessary benefits Support with ESA assessments.
- Act as advocate where required e.g. in dealing with the bank and benefit tribunals.
- Small interest free loans to purchase necessary items to prevent extreme hardship.
Avondalecare believes that helping a person towards improved mental health requires and understanding of both medical and social factors. Social stability is linked to healthy finances, healthy emotions, and better mental health. We promote improved social stability through:
- Our Social Inclusion Centre - facilitating positive interdependent peer support networks and arranging enjoyable social activities such as sports, classes and day trips.
- Promoting confidence to engage in community based activities.
- Tutoring of service users through one to one contact on ways to improve their current relationships.
- Show through example and positive peer pressure how to behave in a way that can promote healthy and positive relationships.
- Helping individuals engage with the wider community e.g. support to go to college and arranging volunteer jobs.
Poor mental health is linked to poor housing and we believe that living in a more socially cohesive environment decreases stressors and triggers to poor mental health. We also believe that giving individuals a choice over whether they want to share or have their own flat can be of great benefit. Therefore Avondalecare seeks, wherever possible, to improve the social environment of our clients.
Over a number of years we have developed good working relationships with local housing providers to enable us to give clients the option of living in their own privately rented accommodation.
We work hard with clients to help them maintain their tenancies and the healthfulness of their accommodation as we believe this is important to a person’s sense of place and stability.