Leeds Mind is developing their peer support model to enable women from South Asian communities to access peer-led group work, within their local community. This project has been funded through a legacy left by Nasa Begum to national Mind. Nasa Begum, a senior policy adviser to the Department of Health, was very open about her use of both mental health and physical disability services.
Three of Leeds Mind’s peer support facilitators are working with local community organisations Dosti, Hamara, Touchstone, Khoshish and Chapeltown Children’s Centre. Plans are in place to work with young Asian females at The Market Place and Archway. By developing this work, Leeds Mind is creating new networks to take the work further.
The workshops and courses have been adapted to suit the women involved. The project has found that language is not a barrier in improving the women’s wellbeing. Bindu and Sham, who speak Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi, use a “mix and match” approach to deliver the workshops to meet the needs of the women they are working with. They are delivering a range of one-day workshops including confidence building, building resilience, managing stress, while Amanda from Inkwell is carrying out creative workshops such as jewelry making, wool felting and batik. Short-term counselling is also available to women in their own language.
*This example was adapted from Anj Handa blog and originally published in No Assumptions: a narrative for personalised, coordinated care and support in mental health, National Voices/TLAP, August 2014.