Improving the lives of South Asian people with learning disabilities
Staff from the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust have been working on several unique projects that aim to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities from the South Asian community in North Kirklees. The Trust has worked closely with other agencies and carers of people with learning disabilities on the projects.
A new group called ‘Talking Together’ has been set up specifically for staff and people with learning disabilities and their carers from Asian families. The group meet every two months in community centres around the North Kirklees area, and members have the opportunity to talk to staff from the Trust and social services about learning disability services.
Clinical psychologist from the Trust, Tony Ovenell says, "The idea of Talking Together is to help people understand and work with one another better. Staff can learn about Asian cultures and religions and people with learning disabilities and their carers can learn about the services we provide. They can also let us know how we can improve services and make them more accessible for the South Asian community. "
A first of its kind meeting between learning disability staff and a group of Imams (Muslim religious leaders) from Batley and other people working with the South Asian community was also held recently. The aim of the meeting was to develop links with the community, build relationships within it and improve understanding so that individuals with learning disabilities from the South Asian community can be more effectively supported.
Tony says, "We hope we can try and help people with learning disabilities integrate into their own communities. People with learning disabilities can become very isolated and need extra help to attend the mosque or community groups – we want to work with the Imams to try and maximise the support that is available."
Staff have worked with members of the community learning disability team and members of the South Asian community to produce a leaflet in Urdu and easy to read English which explains more about what help and support is available for South Asian people with learning disabilities and their families.
For more information on any of this work please contact Heidi Curry on 01924 816274.