Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) are getting a fair shot at their COVID-19 vaccination thanks to a proactive partnership approach.
We are lending our support to local roll out, dispatching a team of experienced mental health professionals and support staff to vaccinate SMI individuals from across North East Lincolnshire.
Vulnerabilities, anxieties and misinformation are often creating barriers to people with severe mental health problems accessing vaccines, which is why the NAViGO team is working with both individuals within their care as well as people with known SMIs within the community.
NAViGO assistant director for acute mental health services Ellie Walsh said: “There are many barriers as to why someone with a severe mental illness may not have accessed their COVID-19 vaccination and need extra support.
“As a trained professional specialising in mental health, I know we can provide that extra support to the most vulnerable within our community.
“We have been privileged to receive our vaccines and I feel privileged to be able to deliver vaccinations. People with SMI often experience some of the worst health inequalities in the country and we want to ensure that this does not happen in relation to their access to the COVID-19 vaccine. No one should be left behind.”
Working closely with local GP practices, NAViGO are providing a series of special clinics and appointment slots as well as visiting people in their own homes to safely deliver the vaccination.
A series of short videos on COVID-19 vaccination have been developed to support and encourage people with severe mental illness to get their vaccines.
Developed by Public Health England in collaboration with Equally Well UK and NHS England including GP professionals and Expert by Experience, they provide useful information about what to expect from the vaccination process and how to prepare for an appointment.
Anyone with a SMI who would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccination either in a clinic or in their own home can contact NAViGO directly on 01472 252366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.