Creative Arts therapy sessions help SC to better manage mental health

SC was identified from the High Intensity User (HIU) list due to being a frequent user of West Midlands Ambulance, West Midlands Police and A&E department. SC was very dependent on emergency services and was being admitted to hospital via ambulance every week due to poor mental health.

SC has a mental health diagnosis and struggles with her day-to-day activities. This puts a strain on her relationship with her family and friends.

I befriended SC and we formed a good therapeutic relationship, she explained how she was struggling, and I was able to offer her a range of groups to attend at Arts of Change (AOC) in Dudley. The Creative Orchid Project (AOC) consists of a series of creative arts therapy sessions which cover topics as body image, anxiety, self-esteem, depression and anger.

SC began to attend the groups, at first, she struggled in a group setting and at one point felt she may not be able to carry on. However, through her determination and persistence, she continued and completed the first group. SC has expressed how much she now enjoys the groups and as each group has finished, she has decided to attend the next one to continue to build her confidence and learn to better manage her emotions and feelings.

SC feels she can be open at AOC and has expressed how she feels comfortable around the session facilitators and the other participants, SC feels she has developed new friendships and a result of attending.

SC is now on her sixth course and is engaging well, she attends each week on time and participates fully in each session. She is looking forward to the future and intends to apply the skills she has learnt to her daily life.

“The groups are amazing and it’s helped me a lot”

Client D says support provided by Integrated Plus has “changed her life”

D was referred to Integrated Plus in October 2020, due to feeling low in mood and anxious. The Senior Social Prescriber contacted D to explore things more and after talking for nearly 2 hours, there were many things identified for Integrated Plus to offer support with.

D is a nurse and lives with her young daughter. One of the things impacting D’s wellbeing was the impact of her physical health. D had various health conditions that made mobilising difficult at times. Integrated Plus liaised with Adult Social Care to put aids and adaptations in place for D, which made entering and leaving her property much easier. D also struggled due to high energy costs, as she needed to keep her heating on to help with her physical health. The Senior Social Prescriber worked with Winter Warmth to support D to reduce her energy costs and apply for energy discounts.

D disclosed that she had been through a lot of trauma when she was younger. Integrated Plus referred D for therapy through primary care. As the waiting list for therapy is quite long, Integrated Plus worked with Arts of Change to start therapy for D, so that she was not left without any psychological support whilst waiting for therapy through primary care to start. When primary care got to D, there was a seamless transition from one therapy provider to another.

Integrated Plus also supported D to access weight loss information, advice and support to make healthy lifestyle changes, which has helped D to manage her condition.

D reported that she found the initial conversation with Integrated Plus ‘really helpful and lifechanging’. D said that the support put in place for her by Integrated Plus had ‘changed her life’ and D knows she can come back to Integrated Plus in the future for more support if ever needed.

Lifecentral Church supporting residents with befriending scheme

Lifecentral Church has been supporting the local community by recruiting kind-hearted volunteers to provide much needed befriending support.

Mr A was referred to Integrated Plus via his GP as he was struggling with loneliness and isolation through the pandemic. The Senior Social Prescriber contacted Jo Gregory from Lifecentral Church to see whether a befriender could be allocated to Mr A. Mr A was allocated a dedicated befriender and has had several weekly conversations with him on the telephone, Mr A very much looks forward to these calls. Their friendship is blossoming, and they are planning on meeting in their local town for coffee and cake.

“We at Lifecentral have a heart to serve our local community and meet the needs where we can, and we came up with the idea of investing volunteer time into befriending through the pandemic. We were increasingly aware that folks were lonely and isolated at home, and we wanted to do something to help this. I have an amazing team of committed, warm hearted and generous people who are delighted to give some of their time to folks who are lonely and need some support in the community“ – Jo Gregory, Lifecentral Church