Winter mental health support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities

News from: NHS Berkshire West CCG

Seven voluntary and community organisations are to share a £20,000 NHS England grant aimed at supporting the mental health of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities (BAMER) over the winter.

Berkshire West CCG secured the funding and has worked closely with key partners to devise the best ways of allocating the money. Reading Voluntary Action, Involve (Wokingham) and Volunteer Centre West Berkshire have administered and will host the grant which they expect to achieve the following:

-Raising awareness about psychological access and wellbeing within BAMER communities.
-Improve more culturally sensitive support in accessing health and social care.
-Increasing the scope of community support in a bid to prevent mental health crisis and surges of mental health needs.
-Providing support to BAMER carers looking after a loved one.
-Directing younger people from BAMER communities to the right support

The organisations listed below will receive the funding, the list also describes how they will spend the money:
1. Reading Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality – to fund further outreach work, engagement and raise awareness.
2. Autism Berkshire and Alafia – for advice and support sessions for parents and carers.
3. Community United West Berkshire – to fund two online forums with small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) employers and their employees from BAMER communities on their mental well-being.
4. Reading Community Learning Centre – to expand capacity to support BAMER women with extreme mental health needs.
5. Sport in Mind – to provide Tai Chi sessions.
6. Time to Talk, (a West Berkshire group) – to fund culturally sensitive engagement and counselling for young BAMER adults.
7. Reading Refugee Support group – to support their work with people who are asylum seekers and in need of mental health support.

There is a range of other support for people with mental health problems. This includes:
-NHS talking therapies are a confidential service run by fully trained experts offering help with problems like stress, anxiety and depression. People can access the service by visiting their GP or referring themselves online or ringing 03003 652000.
-Young people aged between 11 and 18 can visit a free, anonymous and confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing support.
-There is also online support on the NHS mental health and wellbeing website and people can also seek help by going online at NHS 111.
-In emergency situations or if someone is in immediate danger, people must call 999 straight away.

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