The Falkirk Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund new fund, launched by Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, aims to help organisations widen access to community-based services in the Falkirk area which target health and social inequalities or improve health and wellbeing.
Patricia Cassidy, Chief Officer, Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership said:
“Our colleagues in the third and voluntary sector deliver a vast range of care and support. Their efforts and innovative approach have always been valued by the people who access their support, but even more so during the pandemic.
“The launch of the Partnership’s new Health Inequalities and Wellbeing Fund will support local organisations to further development their services and support options, ultimately enriching the lives of people within our communities.”
Managed by CVS Falkirk, the fund aims to tackle mental health inequalities and increase community-led support options for people aged 16 years old and over across Falkirk.
Victoria McRae, Chief Executive, CVS Falkirk: “Falkirk’s charities, social enterprises, and community groups have a strong history delivering projects which are making a lasting, valued, difference to the communities of Falkirk. I look forward to seeing the ideas and new services which flourish from this funding.
We know how creative the third sector can be, making them best placed to know what’s needed in our local communities. This was true before the pandemic, but especially now, where we’ve all seen the impact on local people’s health and wellbeing, and the inequalities that already existed.”
You can read about what we did to tackle social isolation & loneliness here!
Callum MacKinnon (Founder & Occupational Therapy Lead) at BounceOT highlights what the funding from CVS Falkirk means for the organisation –
When we were awarded ‘Round 1’ of the fund from CTSi & SVE last year, this allowed us to trial new ways of working and record the impact to prove the difference we were making in our community. This excluded families living in Falkirk at the time, as the funding was to focus on adults with disabilities and parent carers from Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
I am so excited that we have been awarded this grant from CVS Falkirk during ‘Round 2’ as it allows us to focus on the adults with disabilities, and parent carers, who we have not been able to reach yet. I have always said that Forth Valley area is a large area (with 3 Council areas within it) and Falkirk is often the ‘missing piece of the triangle’ [with reference to the % of customers who visit us in Stirling].
What are we going to do with the £10,000 funding?
In short, we are going to deliver an innovative and in-demand project that will benefit up to 310 people from the Falkirk Council area.
Project: Empowering parent carers to be the professionals
We know via direct feedback from our beneficiaries, published research in this field, and ongoing reports in the news/online that our target population suffer inequalities daily. The adults with additional support needs we support are often deprived and alienated from their communities due to their disability and reduced function. The differences in their ability to live independent and fulfilling lives continue to cause profound imbalance across their daily routine, mood, and overall wellbeing.
Regretfully, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected these individuals, and their wider families as a result of multiple medical and environmental factors.
For this project, we have consulted both formally and informally with our beneficiaries. Parent carers have told us that in order to cope with their caring roles, their own mental health and capacity is vitally important.
We see this when carers come to us in crisis; seeking ways to help their loved one or supported individual in a particular area of challenge. Alternatively, they might want to reflect on and adapt their own behaviours/ responses to these challenges – being more proactive. These echoes the core aims, objectives and values of the fund.
Simple outcomes have been suggested to describe the project and the differences it will make:
Outcome 1 –
Improved physical and mental health and wellbeing of adults with disabilities
Outcome 2 –
Improved mental health and wellbeing of parent carers.
Outcome 3 –
Parents carers will have a non-judgemental, safe, and confidential space to express their feelings, and concerns about their childs needs or behaviours that challenge.
Outcome 4 –
Parent carers will have improved skills to independently manage future barriers/challenges to participating in daily tasks and meaningful activities [for themselves and/or the person they support]
Outcome 5 –
Parent carers will learn about overcoming barriers to accessing play/leisure, and how to adapt this to make participation purposeful (e.g. for achieving goals). Thus, parent carers can facilitate inclusive and meaningful play – anytime, anywhere!
Outcome 6 –
Parent carers will have improved relationships with their child, and feel socially included in daily tasks and meaningful activities with them
The following evidence-based activities will be delivered to ensure these outcomes are met:
Activity 1 – 396 hours of therapeutic play and rebound therapy
[for adults with disabilities and additional support needs]
The activity sessions will either be facilitated 1:1 by a certified Play Leader, or parent carers will have the option to access ‘family fun time’ together in our autism friendly and wheelchair accessible space in Stirling.
Activity 2 – 100 licenses to the online interactive eLearning module – Purposeful Play
[for parent carers]
All parent carers will get 1 year access to all online learning and downloadable resources. The online platform is hosted by eNetLearn (from eCom Scotland).
Activity 3 – 25* parent carers to access [up to] 6x OT Coaching sessions
*25 families – this could be up to 50 individuals (2 parents per family)
Risks involved in the delivery of this project –
No specific risks identified other than those already assessed within services/interventions (for business as usual).
In addition, we do not require any third party permissions to deliver this project.
People with a long-term health condition or disability
People at higher risk from COVID
People facing socio-economic disadvantage
People experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage
People with diagnosed mental illness
People affected by psychological trauma (including adverse childhood experiences)
People with additional support needs
Priorities of the Fund
Promoting and supporting the conditions for good mental health and wellbeing at population level
Providing accessible signposting to help, advice and support
Providing a rapid and easily accessible response to those in distress
Ensuring safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness
How we are going to meet the objectives of the Fund
To help meet the objectives of the fund, we aim to promote our activities to wider networks across Falkirk & District so we can collaborate with people and services across the public and third sector to support those facing inequalities – in particular those who we are currently unable to reach in other projects (e.g.
Improving Lives project from The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland). Our ability to build on individuals existing and new skills is further evidenced by our commitment to working alongside key
policies and legislation in this field – Keys to Life; Public Health Priorities; Mental Health Strategy; Carers Strategy, to name a few.
When referring to Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership’s Strategic Plan, it is clear their vision of enabling people in Falkirk & District to live full and positive lives within supportive communities mirrors our organisations vision. Our vision is for all individuals to be happy, healthy, and able to do the things they want, need, or have to do.
Finally, our evaluation and impact reporting will align with the Partnership’s Priorities – in addition to referring to the Scottish Government’s 9 national health and wellbeing outcomes which are also measured by the Partnership.
Key Feedback from previous Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Project
[trial of similar activities outwith Falkirk & District area – funded by CTSi & SVE]
“I highly recommend the therapy sessions with bOunceT for those disabled individuals [like my
son] who find exercising very difficult due to his profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).
The activities on the trampoline not only stimulates the cardiovascular system, but also provides
mental stimulation at the same time. It is fun for Colin – it is one of the few times I see him laugh!”
“James has been getting great exercise and movement in the sessions – the only kind he actually
wants to participate in! His mental health is getting better too as he meets different people and gets
out of the bubble of sitting in his bedroom. The structure and routine of attending weekly for a block
really helps him – but more importantly me and his dad as we really need the break”
Q: How will you use the learning from this online module to help make play more meaningful and interactive for your child?
A: I will try to find ways of ‘getting it right’ for my son which will provide him with some challenge, whilst still making activities engaging and fun for him. He has significant sensory needs so I will focus on play that gives a lot of touch and deep pressure feedback
Additionally, an evaluation of the OT Coaching sessions is presented within a separate report (written as a result of pilot funding from Stirling & Clacks Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund – click here to view the report!)
• 100% parent carers state they will continue to use skills learned in their daily life + YES they would recommend the sessions to others
• 100% parent carers would like ongoing support and would be willing to pay for this if it could not be
Performance rates were increased by 39% and satisfaction rates were increased by 56%.
“I have a much better understanding of why my son’s behaviour is presenting in this way”
“Coaching has changed our lives [as a family]. We are all able to enjoy family time together without worrying about what challenges or barriers there might be. I feel so much more confident”
Key words used to describe Coaching (from Evaluation)