Archive for July, 2018

The Big Mental Health Survey 2018

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Last year, Mind launched major research project, the Big Mental Health Survey. The survey explores people’s experiences of mental health support provided by the voluntary sector and primary care services (e.g. GPs). It also captures people’s experiences of discrimination.

 

Have you experienced mental health problems? Complete the Big Mental Health  Survey here

Results from last year

We received an incredible response last year. Over 8,000 people who had used mental health services took part, including 1,000 local Mind service users. This has provided important evidence to support our service delivery and influencing work. We found that participants had a better overall experience of care provided by Mind and local Minds (85%), than other voluntary organisations (78%) or primary care services (74%).

In particular, people felt that local Mind staff took them seriously, listened to their needs, gave them enough time to talk about their mental health, treated them as an individual, provided easy to understand explanations, and encouraged them to stay hopeful about the future.

In the North west, three quarters (75%) of respondents felt that primary care services met their mental health needs, this was broadly similar to respondents as a whole.

 

Furthermore, last year’s survey collected important demographic information from the North West around age, sexuality, ethnicity, disability and diagnosis. Collecting such data is crucial as it enables us to identify groups that are under-represented in our service delivery, and plan future services to meet demand.

This year’s survey

We are now launching the next wave of the research and we need your help again. Working closely with our expert research partners, the Picker Institute, we will be surveying up to 10,000 people and we want to hear from even more local Mind service users.

The survey is open to anyone aged 16 years or older, with personal experience of mental health problems. We will be collecting responses until the end of October 2018.

You can take the survey below and read the results from last year’s  report here.

http://www.bigmentalhealthsurvey.com/

 

Salford City Council release Universal Credit guide

Friday, July 13th, 2018

The government’s new welfare benefits system, Universal Credit, is due to be fully introduced across Salford as of September 26th. The system will make changes to the way people who are out of work or working on a low income will receive their benefits entitlements, meaning claimants will receive one lump sum each month.

Will Universal Credit affect me?

If you currently receive or are thinking about applying for any of the following benefits, the Universal Credit changes are likely to affect you:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Before full service comes in to play in September, parts of Higher Broughton will be enrolled on July 25th for people in the postcode areas: M7 4, M8 5, M8 8, and M8 9. This is because some people living in these areas are covered by neighbouring Jobcentres, which are moving to the Universal Credit system
before Salford.

Still have questions?

Salford City Council have produced a Universal Credit guide, which explains the changes in more detail, gives tips on how to manage the transition, and outlines where you can find support.

View the guide here.

Mind in Salford team up with local business to help struggling client overcome housing difficulties

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

When experiencing a period of poor mental health, sometimes managing a home can become overwhelming, especially when under severe financial pressure.

Mind in Salford’s welfare rights and debt advice team work regularly with individuals who are experiencing problems with money and mental health, helping them to manage debt, understand their welfare rights and explore avenues to help ease financial strain. Advice team member, Lisa, recently started working with a struggling client, Gemma, who was at risk of having her three young children removed by social services due to an excessive hoarding habit – a common symptom of many mental health problems such as OCD and depression.

Wanting to make a settled life for her and her children following a period in an abusive relationship, but with no money to begin clearing the house, Gemma found her situation worsening. An enduring period of depression and anxiety was further exacerbated when she received a sanction on her Universal Credit allowance, which came after her mental health condition forced her to cancel a meeting with a work coach at her local Jobcentre Plus.

 

“Mental health problems can make it extremely difficult to attend appointments and meet other welfare criteria, meaning that those suffering are often issued with sanctions. Claimants are then left with an even more restricted ability to engage with services, therefore reducing their income, aggravating money problems and increasing the risk of worsened mental health or homelessness.” Brick by Brick Report – Housing and Mental Health in Salford – Mind in Salford

 

Things started to look up when social services agreed to provide Gemma with a skip, so that she could start the process of clearing her home – a vitally important step towards regaining some stability and keeping her children. Unfortunately, the offer was withdrawn, and with no support from her landlords (a well-known local housing association) the prospect of resolving her problem seemed increasingly unlikely.

 

Typically, registered council providers such as housing associations have a duty to cooperate on matters of tenant safeguarding (such as support for with mental health problems) yet the association did not provide a skip as allegedly they deemed Gemma’s situation to be self-inflicted. 

 

Salford has the highest proportion of social renters in the country, with 35.29% of households renting from one of the city’s registered social housing providers. Source: ONS (2016)

Lisa reached out to Worsley-based company, Kenny Waste Management, who after hearing Gemma’s story kindly agreed to provide a skip free of charge. Subsequently, her friends and neighbours helped her clear her home, thereby kick-starting the process of overcoming her hoarding, providing a safe home for her children and regaining control of her life. What’s more, United Utilities Trust Fund cleared the water bill of over £3,000 that Gemma had accrued when she was without her Universal Credit entitlement, and replaced her cooker through their white goods grant.

 

 

 

We would like to say a big thank you to Kenny Waste Management Ltd, for making this incredible gesture of good will by donating their time and resources to help our client, and also to United Utilities Trust Fund for allowing Gemma the debt relief she so desperately needed.

 

“It’s great that organisations and local businesses can come together to assist local people in need.” – Lisa White, Advice Team, Mind in Salford.

 

We are pleased that with the help of our advice service, Gemma has restored some stability to her life and can begin planning for her and her children’s future. However, stories like Gemma’s are all too common, and highlight the need for improved mental health support for social housing tenants. We are therefore calling on housing associations in the Salford area to demonstrate their commitment to supporting tenant mental wellbeing, and ensure that staff know how and where to signpost and individual should they be struggling.

If you would like to find out more about some the housing an welfare issues raised in Gemma’s story, view our Brick by Brick Campaign page, where you can read our analysis and find out how to get involved.