As a city, we have focused on developing a network model Synergi-Leeds, which aims to energise and enable people to make changes across their own services and systems. The current membership includes representation from statutory and third sector services from across the city with a passion and interest in improving the experience of ethnic minority groups in mental health services. Individuals interested in being catalysts for change across the system are encouraged to join.
As well as the network we have a small core team who support the network function and capacity building across the system
Leeds CCG agreed to provide £100,000 recurrently for capacity in the system to anchor the work and to fund grassroots mental health projects through a grants programme.
The funding pays for an adult-focussed post (hosted in Public Health) and a post focussed on children and young people (hosted in the third sector). Both post-holders work with partners across the health system and within communities to co-ordinate and support action to address the mental health inequalities experienced by some minority ethnic communities.
We have recruited a dynamic, collaborative communicator to lead on the children and young people’s work alongside a post holder focused on adults, with a joint ‘think family’ approach embedded within the work and a commitment to service user voices being at the centre.
The all age grants programme has been designed to support: very local activity addressing the wider determinants of mental illness (including racism and discrimination); increasing trust; improving access to services and bolstering community mental health support. Successful applicants will be offered mentoring and support for evaluation, as the ambition is that those which demonstrate impact will be supported to survive and thrive through continuation funding or supported to seek relevant/alternative funding streams.
The first round of this grant has funded 15 community organisations to run a two year programme to address psychological wellbeing and mental health needs within children, young people, adults and families across the city, with a further opportunity to receive funding for a third year.
We have developed a logic model. This sets out all the spheres within which we need to take action as a system, and we are in the process of building connections across these. One of the first areas in which we are seeking to further develop work (outside of acute care settings) is working with approved mental health practitioners in adult social care to support understanding of data around and to support co-creation sessions with service users.
We have committed to building on our Creative Spaces event held in October 2019 and have dates in place for two more sessions to be held in 2021. These events will focus on co-developing solutions to identified inequalities in mental health and social care systems.
We are in the process of developing a wider expert group of service users and carers to work with the Synergi – Leeds network to progress the agenda and relevant actions.
Finally, we are creating a website to showcase, inform and engage the city with the work that is taking place to address mental health inequalities.
Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust
The Trust have developed a dedicated Clinical Services, Inclusion Team – x3 Clinical Inclusion Co-ordinators attached to perinatal services, community services and working age adults Crisis and Home Treatment team (CRISS).
The Clinical Inclusion Team supports colleagues both frontline and within the leadership teams to provide culturally responsive services, which improves the health of our local communities through better access and evidence based interventions that takes into account issues of race, ethnicity and culture.
Objectives of the team include:
- Promoting and actively facilitating access, inclusion and improved experience for all
- Reduce the disproportionate rates of compulsory detention and restrictive interventions of service users from a minority ethnic background
- Reduce the rate of admission of people from minority ethnic communities to inpatient mental health services.
- Improve the trust of mental health services amongst minority ethnic communities and service users.
The team have an action plan that sets out the work they are doing with different teams /service areas, acknowledging that their interventions will be different based upon different needs. A good example of this is the significant work that has been undertaken within the perinatal services, using media campaigns and developing community links to promote awareness and engagement / access to the perinatal services for women (and their families) from ethnic minorities.
Key Third Sector Organisations in the City
Forum Central is Leeds collective voice for the health and care third sector. They have delivered training to Third Sector organisations on how to embed diversity and equality into all activity and processes – giving workers an opportunity to get a better understanding of Black Asian and Minority ethnic community experiences within work and society. They have worked with Health and Wellbeing Board partners to develop Leeds Health Inequalities toolkit which sets out how to improve equitable access and outcomes in services.
The Leeds Culturally Diverse Hub: Launched a national group to develop the strategy for the Phoenix Way for Black organisations. They are also looking at a national alliance to influence funders and create sustainability through a leadership project to grow and strengthen Black led organisations.
Leeds Mind and Black Health Initiative: These two organisations in Leeds have established Young Black Minds – a programme that focuses on providing a safe space for young black men aged between 16-25 to talk about their mental health and to seek support.
Partnerships and Innovation
Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, Leeds City Council, Touchstone, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and Leeds CCG, have identified the need for the provision of a safe haven service located in Leeds.
Leeds Safe Haven will provide a brief period of residential intensive support for people of Leeds experiencing a mental health crisis. It will offer compassionate support and prevent admission to hospital. Residence in the house will support the person through the initial period and will be for as brief a period as 24hrs but will be no longer than the maximum 7 days. The partner organisations have worked collaboratively to ensure the developing service model pays due attention to the needs of minority ethnic groups, and is designed to support and meet their needs as well as develop strong links with a range of communities.