- We can pay for intensive, bespoke training for our staff
- More money will go towards people we have been talking to this month such as contributing towards private diagnoses
Providing better quality of lives to vulnerable adults living with learning disabilities and mental health issues through bespoke support.
by Alex Mitchell in Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Mental health is in crisis right now. Part of our #MentalHealthMatters campaign this month is to encourage expression of these struggles and also to encourage the listeners to really listen and take supportive action. The pandemic has really now highlighted the need for this, with everyone struggling in one way or another. There are some people who particularly struggle to express their mental health in this manner. These people are surprisingly left out of many mental health conversations, for the simple fact that their voice is less heard, and they do not necessarily have the expressive skills for this.
These are people with learning disabilities/autism and mental ill health.
It's estimated that up to 52% of people with a learning disability have a mental health disorder. This is a staggering number. It can result in very complex needs for the person, and they may instead express their struggles through their behaviour. Unfortunately there are a number of adults with these diagnoses that have been given up on by support providers because their behaviour is deemed 'too challenging'. Each negative life event like this is an added trauma to their lives, and they live their lives mostly in hospital placements or in a different area of the country where there are more specialist services, away from their family. Imagine the impact the pandemic has had on these people; with even more restrictions placed on their life and further worsening in quality of life. This is where we step in.
We are Mae and Mitchell Bespoke Management CIC, and we are joining in with an exciting pilot project the first of its kind in Leeds.
We have created a social care provider in Leeds built to specifically address the disadvantage for these vulnerable adults who are left behind in the social care system and do not have their needs met by any other available services. A bespoke service. These individuals may have forensic backgrounds due to their complex behaviours. This kind of service is now needed more than ever for these vulnerable individuals in the midst of this pandemic.
We will do this by discharging these adults from hospitals, moving them to a home in the community they can call their own, and provide day-to-day bespoke support for them there. They will be at the heart of everything in their life and we will be sticking by them. Instead of seeing the person simply for the behaviours that show they are an individual in distress, the key is to understand why these are present, and what the function is of them. That way, we listen to them. We give them their voice back. We try to understand them and adapt our support and their environment around them.
The outcome aims are a better quality of life with more opportunities in the wider community and potentially more independence, a reduced cost to taxpayers in Leeds, and new jobs to be created for increased employment in the community.
We begin our project in April 2021! This begins the 'transition period' where individuals are referred to us and we assess their support needs and build up their support plan and support staff before the contracts are signed. This does not come without its financial challenges however, and we have a necessity to self-fund in this period. Pledges will be used to pay for overhead costs; costs such as insurance which are necessary to even allow us to begin trading in the first place.
Simply, without these funds, we cannot begin our work.
We also wish to support others where we can. One example is Sally who has shared with us her story on her struggles to get help and support. You can read her story and other blogs we will be writing for #MentalHealthMatters campaign at mmbm.co.uk/blog. We have pledged to her that if we raise more than our £1000 target, we will contribute to her that extra money to pay for a private diagnosis.
You are supporting and getting involved in a project that is pioneering and at the forefront of an exciting time for social care in attempting to address inequalities and poor quality lives. This is part of the wider movement that NDTi are doing to promote small supports to achieve this; for more information, visit https://www.ndti.org.uk/change-and-development/small-supports
Be a part of this movement and support us in this great cause. You can read more about us at mmbm.co.uk