Aberdeen Foyers Impact Project received funding from the Self Management IMPACT Fund to support adults with mental health conditions.
Aberdeen Foyer’s Impact Project (This link will take you away from our website) received funding from the Self Management IMPACT Fund to support adults with mental health conditions, with a specific focus on those most isolated, to support the effective self management of their condition. The majority of participants find it extremely difficult to initially participate with the project, although once this first step is taken, the significant, positive change is evident in their lives. Through peer support and focused activities the project has provided safe, happy, vibrant locations for individuals who were previously too anxious and isolated to leave their homes.
Despite the clear difference the project has had on people within the community, partnership working with statutory services was initially challenging. However the positive contribution from the project was soon recognised by local services and referrals began to flow steadily. This resulted in an increase in peer support for anyone new to the project and a higher level of trust within the local community creating a cycle of positive outcomes, such as increased independence, health literacy, increased physical and emotional wellbeing and of course better self management ‘’I never imagined I would be sitting here chatting to people. Two months ago I was too scared to even leave my house’’.
The group members are involved in every aspect of project development. For example, when recruiting a skills coach the group members wrote the job description, assisted with the interview process and selected the successful candidate. Therefore people feel a sense of ownership, trust and meaningful involvement as a result of the co-production approach, which is encouraging people to remain engaged. “I was in a big dark hole and I knew that if I wanted to climb out of it I had to find my way back to the group. I managed to get the confidence to come back because I knew that I would be welcome…….that no-body would be there criticising me for being away or not coping” (Group member who returned to the group after a period of anxiety).