Lamp forms new partnership with Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association
The Leicestershire Action for Mental Health Project (Lamp) has formed a new partnership with the Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association (BNCHA) to strengthen its engagement with ethnic minority communities in Leicester.
By enhancing its engagement with ethnic minority communities, Lamp aims to address the inequalities that these groups face when attempting to access care and support services for mental health issues. The new partnership is mutually beneficial as it will also enable BNCHA to learn how to overcome the stigma attached to mental health problems, whilst highlighting to tenants, who are predominantly from Asian backgrounds, that it is normal and acceptable to seek help and to talk about their mental health issues.
BNCHA recently held its annual family fun day to bring the tenant members together and offered Lamp an opportunity to set up a stall at the event. The event served as an introduction that enabled the charity to connect with the tenants to let them know about its work, where it is based and how they can access its community mental health advocacy service.
Jaimini Bharakhada, the BNCHA Chairwoman said:
“We are trying to normalise having conversations about mental health and tackling the stigma that still exists. There are two problems that many in our community face. Firstly, given that BNCHA is a provider of social housing, we house many vulnerable people who find it difficult to access the support services they need. Secondly, it’s often difficult for many members in our community to have a conversation about mental health at all, and those who suffer from mental health issues don’t always seek the help they might need or aren’t able to find services that are crucial for their wellbeing and are culturally appropriate. We are really pleased to be able to work with Lamp to provide a service for tenants who may need help and advocacy support for any mental health issues. In doing so, we believe there is mutual benefit and growth for Lamp, BNCHA and the communities we work with.”
Richard Kotulecki, Lamp’s CEO commented:
“Our new partnership with the BNCHA reflects a key value, which is to provide support to all adults and carers in our community. There are, however, people we do not yet reach, such as the BNCHA tenant members, who would benefit from our support. I would like to thank Jaimini for her encouragement and welcome this new partnership with BNCHA, which will help us fulfil our objective of providing the full range of mental health advocacy and navigation support to their tenant members who suffer from mental health issues.”
The BNCHA tenant members consist of a mix of families, couples, elderly people and single parents who live in flats and houses. BNCHA has a sheltered scheme with accommodation provided specifically for people over 55 as part of assisted independent living. The scheme enlists the services of a warden who checks on the welfare of the sheltered housing residents.
“It’s really exciting to see how we can develop our partnership with Lamp. Going forward we hope to gather more specific information about mental health issues that affect our tenant members and work closely with Lamp to help shape services through workshops, one-to-ones and surgeries. We are also planning to design questionnaires for surveys and public consultations.”
The national mental health charity, Mind, estimates that approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year. This means that out of the area’s total population of 1.1 million, some 275,000 local people could potentially benefit from Lamp’s services. Lamp’s most important capability is its expertise in community mental health advocacy where it supports and guides people through a complex healthcare system to secure the help they need. Details on the range of support that Lamp offers, can be found here.