A group of South Asian people with mental health problems and their carers, from the Dewsbury area, have been working for two years to try and improve mental health services for their community.
The ‘Ummid’ group was set up to give people with experience of mental illness from the Asian community in North Kirklees a voice, and help the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust improve their services. ‘Ummid’ means hope in Urdu, and members chose the name as they felt it described the group’s aims.
To celebrate their second anniversary, the group invited guests to a special meal at Ravensleigh cottage, Dewsbury.
Project lead Aboobaker Bhana said, "We’ve come a long way over the past two years. I think we’ve managed to get Asian people’s voices heard in North Kirklees and we’ve had an impact regionally and nationally. I’d like to thanks everyone for working hard and persevering with the group over the years, especially the members who have used their experience as service users and carers to help the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust improve their services."
Psychotherapist Phil Stewart said, "The Ummid group has helped staff to understand more about issues that affect the South Asian community and it’s made staff more culturally sensitive. People who use our services and their carers talk to us about issues affecting them and staff can see how improvements can be made."
Since it was set up, members of Ummid have been involved with lots of work within the Trust, including organising training for staff and sitting on interview panels.