LIVERPOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH ORGANISATION IMAGINE INDEPENDENCE HAS SECURED FUNDING FROM THE NATIONAL LOTTERY COMMUNITY FUND TO PILOT ITS BUILDING UP STRONGER INITIATIVE, WHICH AIMS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN MOST AFFECTED BY THE LOCKDOWN.
The project will initially be trialled across nine wards in Liverpool – Princes Park, Riverside, Central, Kirkdale, Everton, Kensington and Fairfield, Picton, Anfield, Norris Green – with the potential to roll it out across the city region and then other parts of the UK.
ENHANCING PARTNERSHIP WORKING AND COLLABORATION THROUGH DIGITAL
Imagine Independence has partnered with Elemental to pilot the Building Up Stronger initiative enabling them to strengthen collaboration with secondary care organisations and community providers to connect up services and support and enable a streamlined referral pathway. Through Elemental’s platform, Imagine will be able to directly measure the impact of social prescribing activities on an individual’s health and wellbeing.
“We’re excited to be working with the Imagine Independence team to develop its approach to social prescribing and supporting its vital work to tackle the issue of mental health in Liverpool, especially during Covid, it’s needed now more than ever. Our digital platform is playing an important part in joining up services and support across the country and we are looking forward to working with Imagine to develop this innovative new approach, enabling more people to benefit from social prescribing.” Jennifer Neff, Co-Founder and CEO of Elemental Software
More people than ever are suffering with poor mental health – around 13% of Liverpool’s population already had a common mental health condition before Covid 19 hit and it is predicted that many more people will seek support for poor mental health because of the effects of the pandemic.
“Elemental’s platform has been an integral part of developing the Building Up Stronger project, which is driven by a social prescribing approach. This initiative aims to support some of the most socially and financially excluded people across our communities whose mental health has been most affected by the pandemic and who can be much harder to reach and less likely to access mainstream health services. Through Elemental, we’ll be able to connect these residents to sources of support in their communities as well as monitoring their progress and mental health journey so that no one falls through the gaps during what is one of the most challenging times for mental health that our region has ever seen.” Margaret Hanson, Chief Executive of Imagine Independence
SUPPORTING THOSE WHO NEED SUPPORT NOW
Building Up Stronger will work with people who have found their mental wellbeing affected. It will support them to access community opportunities, reduce isolation, develop and enhance their digital skills and build resilience to cope with ongoing lockdown restrictions and face the post COVID-19 world.
The project will be highlighted during the region’s first ever Merseyside Mental Health Week, which is being hosted by Imagine between 2nd and 6th November 2020.
“This funding comes at a crucial time for Liverpool, with the city facing a looming mental health crisis.
“The social isolation impacts of lockdown, together with the tough economic conditions now being experienced by so many people, are significant factors in creating both physical and mental ill health. Building Up Stronger aims to tackle these challenges by focussing on offering timely support for those most at risk of poor mental health and connecting them with the sources of support available in their communities.” Margaret Hanson, Chief Executive of Imagine Independence
As part of Building Up Stronger Imagine Independence has recruited to four new posts to enable it to increase access to the range of support services available in the city.
It will also be recruiting a team of volunteers to act as community navigators. These local people will all receive mental health first aid training, so they are confident in signposting anyone in need of help to sources information, advice and practical support in their communities.
To find out more about Building Up Stronger and Imagine Independence visit www.imagineindepenence.org.uk