MENTAL health pioneers are celebrating winning community awards.
A group of people with lived experience of mental health challenges and two local charities have scooped accolades at the Community Awards organised by the Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington.
The award, in the ‘Businesses and Teams’ category, recognises the work done by an inspirational group of ‘Experts by Experience’ who are using their experience of mental health difficulties to help transform services for people across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Supported by charities Rethink Mental Illness and Grapevine, the Experts by Experience are central to the transformation of community mental health services, a project which is bringing together organisations from across the NHS, local councils, the charitable sector and community groups.
Some Experts by Experience, partnered with Rethink, are working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust to design services that respond better to patients’ needs and work with other organisations to treat them holistically, rather than seeing mental health challenges as an isolated diagnosis.
Other Experts by Experience, working with Grapevine, are out and about in the community gathering feedback from people about their mental health struggles and experiences they may have had with mental health services in the past.
Claire Handy, an Expert by Experience, said: “The Community Mental Health Transformation is all about ensuring services are patient-centred, holistic and focused on the distress and problems people are having, rather than their diagnosis. Co-production is so important for that work, not only with the voluntary sector and local authorities but also with people who have already lived through a patient journey.
“We are a fantastic team of 15 Experts by Experience who have fought a real battle to get where we are today and now, we are giving our all to make things better for other people. We also have brilliant facilitators in Rethink and Grapevine and have been given space by CWPT to be heard as equal partners in the change that’s happening in mental health services.”
Dominic Cox, Chief Strategy Officer at CWPT, added: “I would like to congratulate our Experts by Experience, Rethink and Grapevine on this much-deserved win. This recognition is testament to the transformative work that they are doing and colleagues at the Trust feel privileged and grateful to be working alongside them.”