Surrey Choices have launched a new initiative called ‘Time to Talk’ for disabled people. These are group discussions to combat depression, anxiety, thoughts of loneliness and any mental health problems people may be experiencing.
Lockdown was hard on many, including the disabled people supported at Surrey Choices. One of the community Hubs in the North of Surrey support people who have acquired brain injuries and struggle with their mental health and the impact of their injuries.
Mental Health First Aiders support (MHFA)
Two Surrey choices colleagues from the team visited Nexus and took part in a discussion with people to find practical solutions to support mental health. These colleagues undertook a Mental Health First Aiders Course from Mental Health First Aid England, and as a result of completing the course, became Mental Health First Aiders, where they help colleagues and the disabled people with mental health.
Together they spoke about introducing Time to Talk group discussions, creating a wellbeing corner within the hub and personalised wellness boxes containing lavender bags, aromatherapy clay rings, daily affirmations, tailored aromatherapy shower gel and hand creams, and helpline numbers.
In just six weeks, there have been positive differences in people.
“I enjoyed the first session where we were all talking about things to do at home as I live alone and feel isolated. I was interested in how to use Alexa more. I enjoyed our clay ring making and having a chat with others about how they feel and keep well. I would like more of these sessions.”
“This is benefiting me. It is giving me coping skills and a chance to talk”
Surrey Choices will be using this initiative to support more disabled people across Surrey with their mental health. 2