Mental health professionals from Gujarat in India will visit NHS mental health services in Wakefield next week as part of a mutual learning partnership with South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.
The Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, serves a high proportion of local people who originate from South Asia. It is intended that the visit will help Trust staff to learn more about South Asian culture and the ways it can affect mental ill health.
It is also hoped that the Indian visitors will learn from the Trust to enable them to make improvements to mental health services back in Gujarat.
During their two-week stay, the Gujarati health professionals, including a psychiatric social worker, a psychiatric nurse and four doctors with clinical, research and practice expertise in mental health, will visit various Trust services and facilities in Wakefield, as well as Calderdale and Kirklees, and spend time talking to staff and service users.
Trust staff can also attend special presentations by the visitors to gain an insight into Indian people and mental health.
The Trust’s professional lead for social care, Mike Young set up the exchange after visiting Gujarat. He said, "The twinning project is a two way process. It’s a chance for us to develop links and learn more about each other’s approach to mental health."
He added, "Many Gujarati’s live in the area served by the Trust and if staff can develop a deeper understanding of the needs of the community, we will inevitably improve our services to them. At the same time, our visitors have been able to learn from us. For example, their services are not as developed as ours due to financial restrictions, but learning about our community projects and fundraising events might help them find new ways of providing services back in India."