NAViGO’s Vulnerable Service User team, set up to respond to the challenges of Covid-19, has received widespread praise for their dedication throughout the pandemic.
After identifying service users who may potentially have become more vulnerable as a result of Covid-19 and its effects, staff members worked tirelessly to provide practical and emotional support to ease stress and anxiety.
Working in tandem with other NAViGO areas and supported by clinical staff who were shielding, the VSU team has:
- supported over 300 vulnerable service users
- delivered more than 750 care packages
- devoted more than 6,500 hours of support to service users
The VSU team also offered a ‘reach in’ service by calling people at home – many of whom had lost their support networks due to shielding or self-isolating – to offer emotional support.
And older people, carers and individuals experiencing conditions like dementia were assisted with food deliveries if they were unable to go outdoors or were confused by online shopping.
Tom Hunter, NAViGO Chair, said: “The mobilisation of our Vulnerable Service User support team is a remarkable achievement, embracing the true ethos of our services, and upholding our commitment to ‘provide services we’d be happy for our families to use’.
“The team’s commitment to support, and their compassion in communicating with people who were often vulnerable and alone, is a lasting credit to them.”
Referrals to the VSU team were open throughout all three lockdowns, assisting care coordinators and support workers in their own roles.
Anna Morgan, Head of Business Development at NAViGO, said: “The team successfully navigated the complexities of non-clinical support alongside clinical support staff, to provide a holistic approach that has formed a solid foundation for improved partnership & co-working.
“Their work has demonstrated how new ways of working can enhance support delivered across NAViGO, and external agencies, and laid the foundations of a lasting legacy for all those involved in mental health support in our area.
If you are struggling to cope, are worried about someone you know or need to speak to someone urgently, there is a range of help available.
- The COVID-19 mental health support service offers support to anyone who has been affected by the pandemic in any way. It's free and available 24 hours a day. Just call (01472) 256256 and select option 3 or freephone 08081 968442.
- If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 5.30pm and 11pm, Monday to Friday.
- Open Minds offers a range of talking therapies aimed at helping you to deal with the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.