Whole Life is a common sense approach which accepts that people with mental health problems are more than the sum of their symptoms. It started in mental health but local commitment has meant it is applied to everyone with whom we work. It acknowledges and encourages their hopes and aspirations. Just like everyone, they want to be well and valued.
Whole Life in Cornwall has embedded a set of values and principles that support recovery and enable people to enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. It isn't just about health - it's about every aspect of life. We work with a range of local organisations and businesses to help people retain their social status, health, wellbeing and their place in the community.
For further information about Whole Life and Social Inclusion in Cornwall, please contact Michaela Burt 01208 251439.
Rethink Your Mind
Social inclusion is something which takes place everyday of our lives. Most of us take it for granted. For example, social inclusion happens when you go to work, take part in an activity or go to a concert. It can be something as simple as answering the telephone or going to the shop for a newspaper. It is about interaction with others.
Imagine if you didn't have a job, take part in activities or go to concerts and the only time you received a telephone call or a knock at your door was from a Psychiatric Nurse. It is very easy to see how people who have had prolonged contact with mental health services can become isolated from daily life.
We have Social Inclusion Workers who try to stop this happening. They identify the types of things people want to do. They will work with other organisations to create opportunities so this can happen. The Social Inclusion Workers want people to be independent and do things for themselves. Social Inclusion Workers can help people break tasks down into manageable chunks – so people feel confident to have a go themselves. The support each person needs varies.
One example of how we help people is through a partnership between the Eden Project, Cornwall College and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. An open course is run at Eden. This gives people the opportunity to gain a qualification and work experience. Each course is limited to 10 people so is a good first step. Lots of people who have completed this course have gone onto mainstream courses or employment. Lots of them say that as a result they have increased confidence and self-esteem.
What we do is common sense. For people to progress and recover we need to address the things that affect their mental health and not just treat the symptoms. We help people identify what is most important to them. As a mental health provider we are not a housing expert or an employment adviser but through our networks, we have links and partners who can help us solve these problems for people.