IAPT stands for ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ the aim of the service is to help people gain quick and easy access to the best type of therapy for their individual needs. Problems like mild depression, anxiety, stress, panicking, nervousness, isolation and loss of sleep make it difficult for some people to cope with life’s daily demands. As 1 in 4 of us will feel like this at some point in time the IAPT supports people so they do not need to try and cope on their own. A person can use this service if they are over 17 and live in Kirklees.
Who did you consult with and what did you ask?
The Sahaara Women’s Wellbeing support group, a group set up for service users with underlying mental health issues in North Kirklees asked for help and information around managing low mood, anxiety and anger management.
Some of the group members had identified that they were suffering with sleep issues. The group asked IAPT if they could visit the group to talk about the service, and what it has to offer. In addition women were interested in how information about the service in Urdu and Gujarati could be provided.
Explain who the stakeholders were
The Sahaara group supports Asian women in the local community. The group uses a number of activities and creative techniques to support people which include art and crafts. The group meets once a month.
What methods of engagement were used?
A meeting was set up in the local area. This meeting was hosted by the mosque, which included lunch to encourage people to attend.
The event was publicised wider than regular Sahaara group members to encourage other women living in the area to come along to listen to the presentation by IAPT. As many women are concerned about addressing issues related to mental health the approach was to present more about the service and encourage women to hold a conversation.
What questions/type of questions you ask?
The presenter asked women if they recognised some of the symptoms in the presentation, and if they did would they know how to support themselves or others. The women attending were:
- Encouraged to ask questions about the service, the expectations of therapy and what type of disorders are treated in IAPT.
- Encouraged to reflect on their own experiences of mental health
- Asked to reflect on the difficulties of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population experiences with mental health services.
- Asked questions to understand how improvements to the service such as access and referrals can be made.
What did they tell you?
The women who attended the group were really grateful for the presentation and stated they had learnt a lot about mental health and recognising the symptoms. They were keen to find out more information about the service to support themselves and others. They also stated:
- That they now understood how common some mental health problems are and how easily they can be treated
- They liked the idea of self-referral
- They welcomed the diverse workforce in the service, particularly the female to female contact
- Women wanted to share information about this service to other women in their local area
What did you do?
The session ensured that women attending were given assurance and confidence to use the IAPT service. Information leaflets were given and women were encouraged to share this information with women in their local area.
Those attending who were in need of support were encouraged to make a referral if they felt appropriate to do so, knowing that they are able to be assessed in their appropriate south Asian language.
It is too early to identify the outcomes of this work but it is hoped that the service will start to see an increase in referrals from women of a south Asian background who may previously have gone without the support they needed. The Trust will measure the impact of this work through referrals and more events like this will be planned in the future.
Where can you find more information about this work?
People can find out more information about the IAPT service on the website www.kirkleesiapt.co.uk. For more information about this work contact:
Zabair Hussain Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist
Engagement location: Kirklees
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