LYPFT South CMHT has been progressive and innovative in their thinking. This is in terms of developing links with their third sector agencies in delivering Mental Health support in the community, through the evolving role of the Creative Practitioner.

The role of the Creative Practitioner is to work in a collaborative manner with users of services and community organisations, in taking a holistic approach to someone’s mental health needs.

This is with a focus on recovery and taking strength based approach to support people to move on from secondary mental health services. It is about empowering those using services to take ownership and control of their own mental wellbeing.

Budgets are tight, we are all have to work leaner and smarter. LYPFT has joined forces with the third sector agency, Touchstone building a unique partnership between voluntary and statutory mental health services. This has facilitated the development of a more visible care pathway through the CMHT in the South of Leeds, reducing expectation that Mental Health services are for life.

Utilising our ‘skill set’ we have achieved:-

• Building strong links with the community and services through attending various community forums. – ‘an ear to the ground’

• Rolling structured group work:-

Moving on and staying well group. This looks at hopes and fears of discharge from services, recognising and developing resilience, completing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan and linking people in with non-statutory services and community organisations.

 Dealing with feelings group takes a CBT approach in supporting people to develop strategies to manage overwhelming feelings.

• Development of mental health drop-ins. Open to all whether in services or not. Facilitating a connection with mental health services without actually being open on a caseload. Strengthening provision in the community for discharge from secondary services.

• We also have brief intervention of one to one support. These are structured sessions tailored to the client’s needs with regards to moving on from services.

• We also take a consultation approach within our CMHT team, supporting our colleagues with discussions around discharge of clients and linking in with the Primary Care Liaison workers.

Some of the feedback from service users includes ‘it’s made me think differently about my mental health’.

It has supported others to develop confidence to achieve their potential.

One service user described the mental health drop-in as ‘an oasis in the middle of the city’, a place he can go if feeling overwhelmed.

It is in its early days, there has already been a reduction in caseloads.

We hope the Creative Practitioner role will reduce re-referral rates to the CMHT.

It requires an element of flexibility, fluidity, cohesion, head space to think and the ability to challenge ‘old’ ways of working.

The overall aim is to make discharge more sustainable through empowerment and building resilience, personal and community.

CMHT work has changed, it’s about recovery rather than recovered. For further information please contact: [email protected]

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