Thursday 5 December saw the exciting launch of new mental health services for working-age adults in Lambeth.
There was a real buzz as people who use these services chatted with staff and providers. Everyone enjoyed live music from Greg and Annette and the Certitude Choir (made up of those with lived experience) and Abstract Benna, a young Lambeth poet, performed three of his poems, including The Alliance, written especially for the event – reproduced below.
The event launched three new Living Well Centres, which are at the heart of the new services. These centres bring together clinical staff, social workers and support workers from the voluntary sector, many with lived experience. These joined-up teams provide better support for a wide range of needs and reduce the large number of assessments that people may have experienced in the past.
There is a new ‘front door’ to access these services called the Single Point of Access (SPA). The SPA will assess people, usually over the telephone, and then refer them directly to the service that best meets their needs. People can be referred to the SPA by their GP, and people can also introduce themselves by downloading and completing the online form on this website: www.lambethtogether.net/SPA.
A new Crisis Outreach Service was also launched. This mobile service can quickly get to people who are in crisis around Lambeth, within a few hours if necessary, and ensure they get the support they need. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 090 2456.
The Alliance is made up of: Certitude (a not for profit social care provider), Lambeth Council, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Thames Reach (a homelessness charity).
‘The Alliance’ a poem by Lambeth resident Abstract Benna
The mind is delicate, it’s not easy to share even when you’re used to the person
Sometime it’s even hard to allude to the burden
Frequently repeat the assessments makes it harder
Unnecessary referrals add to the same palaver
Knowing we don’t want everyone to hear just someone to listen
From those with visible conditions to those in the most difficult positions
From those who felt they had to beg for miniscule provisions
While trying to cope under the lack of support in their own borough
This poem is a literal description of our appreciation, thank you
For this collective solution to issues which used to keep us waiting
When I see the word community I usually turn the second m into an e
Come, unity imagine walking through the front door of the spa
The single point of access a point of contact which doesn’t add stress
But rather acts as a mattress, we can now rest knowing the service is embedded
In partnerships, from psychiatrists, therapists, nurses,
To voluntary and community workers
A service built on an overdue alliance
A needed compliance applying the skills of five partners
Instead of pointing a finger they joined the helping hand
United as a fist for the perfect metaphor: we’re in this fight together…
From certitude to Thames reach and all in between changing lives forever