The Big Communitea. Who are we?
We are a low-level early intervention Mental Health support network. Our network is made up of members of the local community, some of whom have lived experience of mental health conditions.
We want to ensure that our support network continues during the pandemic as our support is needed more than ever.
We provide Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention, and Safeguard training to people who support each other and their communities.
Using a Peer to Peer support model and those with lived experience ensures people feel a part of something.
We help people access organisations and services that support those who are vulnerable. We also encourage support networks that continue to help individuals across Selby and North Yorkshire.
We provide training to businesses and individuals who support those with mental health needs. Once the training is complete, the business is given a window decal to display, stating that they are Mental Health Aware.
The decal indicates places where you can get a hot drink and empathetic chat. If there is a need for more support, the participating venues will have information and contact numbers. They can also signpost users to appropriate help or ring the support line on their behalf.
Once the pandemic is over, we will be offering regular activities. These could include Art, Pottery, Glass Making, Knitting. We could also offer Advocacy Services and Citizens Advice sessions. In addition to this, we will be asking for professionals from support services to provide a presence of 3 hours per month to support and offer advice. This could be offered to customers and/or service users. Alternatively, they may simply help out in the cafe.
We want to fight the stigma that mental health has. We want to offer an ear and a hot drink to those who are lonely or in need of support. Tea and a chat? we can help with that.
This is not new, or blue-sky thinking. We are not trying to re-invent the wheel. We’re just trying to make it fit the right vehicle to support the people of North Yorkshire.