The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is showing its commitment to supporting and valuing diverse lives.
The Trust board has recently agreed an equality and diversity strategy at a meeting this week. The strategy acknowledges that the people who use the Trust’s services have vastly different lifestyles in terms of social circumstance, wealth, age, gender, ethnicity, culture and sexual orientation and will provide a framework to ensure that anybody who comes into contact with the Trust is not discriminated against in gaining access to services, employment and care.
The Trust provides mental health and learning disability services to Calderdale, Kirklees, and Wakefield, serving almost a million people. The Trust recognises the importance of diversity in planning services, to ensure they take into account all individual circumstances.
Some of the main objectives outlined are: To develop services that take into account the needs of individuals making services adaptable to the diverse lives our service users lead; To ensure that the diversity of the community served by the Trust is reflected in the workforce so that staff are aware of people’s needs and feel that their own differences are respected and valued; To set an example to the wider community by continuing to employ service users and to encourage public involvement by gaining the views of minority groups to help us provide wider access to services.
The Trust will employ a project manager who will work to support the objectives of the strategy. A major part of their role will be to use research evidence to ensure services are equally accessible to everybody within the community and to work alongside the local authorities to target health promotion at specific groups.
Ruth Unwin, director of public affairs says, ‘We are proud to promote a culture where the individuality of our service users and staff is respected. The equality and diversity strategy will help us continue to achieve this by encouraging the involvement of all service users, ensuring that we listen to their needs and by bridging the gaps between minority groups.’