Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH)’s project ‘Self Management in Mental Health’ aimed to support and improve self management by building and developing on previous peer volunteer support, by working in partnership and raising awareness, and by the development of skill matching and exchanging programmes.
Throughout the five years of receiving funding, RAMH increased the effectiveness of peer support and recruited and trained volunteers to support themselves and other individuals in their self management journeys. Through a variety of engagements, for example speaking on various radio stations, attending MSP events, creating self management workshops and participating in several local primary school events, the project raised awareness of self management and engaged individuals previously uninvolved with the concept.
In addition to the above invaluable engagements, the organisation also offered mental and physical support to those involved along with regular peer support as well. For example, the ‘Time to Talk’ group focused on individuals’ experiences through identifying strengths, assets and skills to support coping and recovery, whereas the pop-up café ‘Thinkin’ a Heid’ allowed individuals to identify the barriers and solutions in getting involved in something new. Through physical exercises such as the ‘Walk and Talk’ and the Self Managed Gardening Group, participants experienced the benefits of exercise, and learnt coping skills through for example mindfulness and relaxation practices. The project also produced a self management information leaflet (SMILe card) and Self Management Kit Bags to encourage and support self management both for individuals and for organisations as well.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, RAMH reflected on their services and adapted their engagements to continue offering support, with an emphasis on digital support. As such, they improved and developed their self management induction to support the link between peer volunteering and the self management project, and, for example, worked in partnership with RAMH Information Worker to develop an online daily advent calendar to help individuals self manage during a pandemic during festive season. To shape service delivery, a monthly steering group of individuals with a lived experience was also established. To offer self management engagements, the project, for example, organised online ‘Christmas Craft’ and ‘Self Management’s virtual cook along’ sessions, as well as collaborated to develop an online gardening group and the ‘RAMH Tree Map’ through which the organisation supported individuals to get out into nature.
This summary is by no means exhaustive of all the fantastic self management engagements and projects RAMH undertook during their five years of funding. You can find more detailed information of their work by clicking here (this link will take you away from our website) and here (this link will take you away from our website).