Family and Carers Event 2nd May 2013

Family and Carers Event

2nd May 2013

Lambeth Accord, Brixton Road

 The Family and Carers events are held regularly and are an opportunity to find out about mental health services available to you.  All family members and carers of new and existing service users are welcome.

The theme for this event was “Welfare and Benefits”.

Guests started arriving around 3.00 p.m. and were welcomed with a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit.

Angela Mitchell, SUITE (Service User Involvement in Training & Education) Education & Training Advisor started the event off by welcoming everyone and explaining more about the event.

Celia Johnson from Lambeth Carers Hub (http://carershub.org.uk/) then followed with information about the wonderful services offered by them – ranging from a counselling service for carers to “how to apply for a grant” to their afternoon tea CHAT group.  Please see their website for more information.Bridget Jones, a carer and a suite member then gave a short talk about her experiences of being a carer and the problems she had faced with regard to patient confidentiality and carer’s allowance.

There was then a break with some delicious refreshments provided by Abbevilles – http://firststeptrust.org.uk/fst-projects/abbevilles-restaurant/  (Abbevilles works through the First Step Trust (FST); an innovative charity which runs social enterprises to provide work and training opportunities for people excluded from work because of mental health issues or other disadvantages, including drug and alcohol recovery problems and a history of offending.)

During the break there was a chance for the guests to visit the “surgeries”.  These are held at every Family and Carers event and are an opportunity for guests to meet professionals, get information about benefits, support services, medication, care and treatment.  At this event we had Jennifer Seal, the chief pharmacist at Lambeth Hospital, Matt Senior, the team leader from the Early Intervention Crisis Assessment Service (Lambeth), Andrew Stephenson, Benefit and Tenancy Support Worker from Spires, as well Angela Christie from PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).  All our guests seemed to welcome the chance to speak to a professional and to get some advice.

After the break we had a excellent presentation “Benefits – What has changed?” from Dan Norris, Welfare Rights Co-ordinator at Lambeth Council.  Dan explained the changes in benefits very clearly and in an interesting way.  He is keen to speak to other people in Lambeth and is happy to give presentations to other organisations.  Please contact him if you would like him to do this (dnorris@lambeth.gov.uk).  We can highly recommend it!

There was then some more time to visit the “surgeries” and Dan Norris also stayed in order to answer questions from individuals.

Our next Family and Carers Events will be on 30th July at Mind in Croydon (Fairfield House, 10 Altyre Road, East Croydon CR0 5LA) where the theme will be “Medication” and 3rd October at the Maudsley Learning Centre at the Maudsley Hospital where the theme will be “Care and Treatment”.  Both events will be from 3.15 to 6.30 p.m.  If you would like to come or to find out more information please contact Angela Mitchell on 020 3228 3722 or suiteadmin@slam.nhs.uk.

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