Yorkshire based Mental Health Charity Touchstone are here to support you. Their aim is to continue to provide vital support and services with people, in the way that they would prefer, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Touchstone understands that the need for mental health and wellbeing support is likely to increase, and they want to reassure everyone that they will continue to offer as much support as they can. Below are a few examples of support that the Touchstone Teams and partners are providing during these times.
Live Well Leeds Team
Touchstone have galvanised the expertise of the Live Well Leeds partnership to support the residents of Leeds by taking a Community Leadership role.
Our LWL partners, the LS14 Trust are launching online art based support on Zoom for local people at risk of deteriorating mental health by dropping off art materials and then jumping online to teach the art classes. We are also working with Hyde Park Source to deliver a weekly gardening, seed growing and horticulture session for people to stay mentally well. This Virtual group is free to people age 18+ who live in Leeds by invite only. Contact by text 07809907958 or email email@example.com
Live Well Leeds Service User Group have teamed up with Gip, a chef at the well know Italian restaurant Salvos to produce videos on how to cook in isolation and how to make the best of the food parcels. Follow the link to watch their videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz2loSAwl2dJhp5v1q08LSA
Live Well Leeds and partners are finding new ways to provide vital support at this time of great challenge. For more information please follow the link to their website https://livewellleeds.org.uk/ or call 0113 219 2727.
Your Space Team
Touchstone’s Your Space team have also developed and printed 560 copies of our own older people's wellbeing pack. This handbook is full of mental health and wellbeing tips, access to financial services, chair-based exercises and quizzes and crosswords. Your Space have printed these packs as some older people are more at risk of digital exclusion. We have also given the wellbeing packs to all 44 neighbourhood networks across Leeds to support the mental health of all the city’s older people, who are at high risk of isolation. The team are now working on wellbeing packs for families, and running a number of their weekly social groups via Zoom.
The team have also started a Your Space Letter-writers Against Loneliness campaign to help combat loneliness and boredom as these are two common effects of the lockdown. This initiative is to keep conversations flowing offline as well as online by matching people with a local pen pal. To get involved, contact Anne on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07920 461 253.
Community Support Team
The Community Support Team work using an assertive outreach approach, to promote recovery for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our community. During the Covid-19 crisis they have extended the hand of friendship to their partners in secondary mental health services. CST are now utilising the skills of the team to provide additional mental health support for 60 clients currently held within Leeds’ Community Mental Health Team who have been identified as requiring more support at this time. This will enhance continuing care packages and free up capacity for the CMHTs to deal with more critical clinical care cases.
Mentally Healthy Leeds Team
Mentally Healthy Leeds is here to support Leeds as a mentally healthy place to live and work and to reduce the likelihood of suicide and self harm through preventative training and support. The team has been providing essential food support to vulnerable people at risk of mental health problems since lockdown began. Last week, the Mentally Healthy Leeds Team have helped 364 individuals in 174 households by purchasing food and delivering it all over East and South Leeds. 50% of people receiving these emergency food parcels are from BAME communities. They are also giving telephone mental health support and doing medication drops. For more information please call 0113 248 4880. You can support the #TouchstoneLovesFood campaign by following this link https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1002136
Well-bean Crisis Café
Anyone experiencing a crisis can contact the Well-bean Hope in a Crisis Café via the Touchstone website at https://touchstonesupport.org.uk/intensive-community-support/wellbean-cafe/well-bean-hope-in-a-crisis-cafe-leeds/. The cafe is open seven nights a week from 6pm to 12am. The service is currently operating all one-to-one support over the phone and face-to-face support via Zoom which can be downloaded free of charge on any android phone. They are also providing food drops for people in crisis.
To find out more about what Touchstone and their partners are providing during the Covid-19 pandemic, please go on to their website www.touchstonesupport.org.uk or call 0113 271 8277.
This post was written by
Fran Tredget, Touchstone