Buckinghamshire Mind, in partnership with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BHFT), has launched new elements to mental health service provision in East Berkshire.
The Friends in Need (FiN) peer support service, facilitated by Buckinghamshire Mind across Bracknell, Slough, Windsor, Ascot, and Maidenhead, is expanding to offer additional tailored groups.
The current groups provide peer support for people experiencing anxiety, depression and/or loneliness. In addition to these well-established and successful groups, the service will offer two new peer support groups; a group for young adults and a group for those with significant mental health support needs.
Buckinghamshire Mind and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust will also be launching a new Support Time and Recovery Service in Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The service will replace the Recovery College and build on the model by offering individualised support in areas such as life skills and employment as well as access to peer support groups.
Friends in Need has been helping people with mental health needs in East Berkshire for a number of years. These friendly peer support groups help members manage depression and anxiety by trying uplifting, fun and free of charge activities.
“Friends in Need has changed my life. After I became a widow I did not want to leave my house. I felt suicidal and low. After I joined the groups I felt supported by the members and enjoyed coming. I feel, after a long time, myself again.” Friends in Need Member.
“Coming to FiN has given me back my self-confidence, got rid of my feelings of worthlessness and given my self-esteem a boost.” Friends in Need member.
With the expansion of Friends in Need, more people in East Berkshire will be able to benefit from this valuable service.
Friend in Need Young Adults Group
The Friends in Need Young Adults Group will be open to people aged between 17 and 25 years old with mild to moderate mental health support needs, offering a timetable shaped by and tailored to younger members. The group can be accessed via self-referral or through a health professional.
Friends in Need MHICS Peer Support Groups
The Friends in Need MHICS Peer Support Groups will be open to people with significant mental health support needs. The groups will mirror the concept of Friends in Need, with a timetable tailored to support the needs of people referred from the MHICS Team, Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), GPs and the Support Time and Recovery Service (STaR Service).
Support, Time and Recovery Service
The new Support, Time and Recovery Service, delivered in partnership with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, will work with clients from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) to develop a bespoke six-month Support Plan. The Support Plan will be based on the Mental Health Recovery Star to support clients referred from the Community Mental Health Team, Adult Social Care and MHICS.
Many people who are recovering from mental illness have found it useful to think about recovery as a journey with different stages, and client’s individual plans will be structured with agreed immediate and future goals, including support to access opportunities which will assist self-care and recovery.
“We at Buckinghamshire Mind are delighted that Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group has funded the expansion of our invaluable Friends in Need service in East Berkshire. We are looking forward to working in partnership with BHFT and the RBWM to deliver the new Support Time and Recovery Service. Together we will be able to support more local people experiencing a mental health problem.” Andrea McCubbin, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Mind.
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