The Emotional Wellbeing Advocacy Project (EWA) provides ongoing support to those with mild-moderate mental health conditions, who are experiencing disadvantage, and are struggling to access the opportunities to improve their mental health condition. Patients are mainly referred to this service from Shiregreen, Page Hall and Burngreave surgeries to receive support.
Burngreave is the 2nd most deprived neighbourhood in Sheffield with a large majority of ethnic minority residents. The priorities of these residents are not related to their health challenges like high blood pressure; they are finding means to survive focussing on housing, work, immigration, school, navigating our complex benefits system, supporting loved ones back home etc. Future plans hope to offer this service in more areas through primary care networks.
Two case studies provided by Trudi, a EWAW, provide an overview of the impact of working across agencies and with the individual to improve outcomes for the client can make better use of care resources.
Impact Case 1 Client A
Client A was referred by their GP in August to receive coping and self-management support as they were suffering with severe anxiety and isolation. They experienced frequent panic attacks which resulted in them not leaving the house since January; they also suffer from paranoid thoughts, believing they are medically unwell.
It was identified that Client A would benefit from emotional support to prepare them to access IAPT support in their local surgery prior to CBT engagement.
Trudi worked with Client A to set small goals which included visiting their GP, having their hair cut, playing the guitar again without triggering a panic attack and going for a swim to increase their mental and physical health and reduce their feelings of social isolation. Trudi also visited Client A in the mornings to motivate them to get out of bed and develop a morning routine, taking breakfast for them to encourage the start of a healthy diet.
EWAW developed a preparation plan for Client A’s visit to the GP which included helping Client A leave the house, extending their journey time each time. The project supported Client A on a ‘practise journey’ to their surgery using the bus, supported them with their food shopping and encouraging them to take their medicine as prescribed.
Client A attended planned GP appointments and was able to catch the bus with Trudi and carry out their food shopping.
Client A has stated that they now experience more good days than bad and is able to manage their days better. They are also more motivated to get up in the morning and play their guitar again.
“I enjoy Trudi’s support and knowing she is always on the other end of the phone”Client A
“I have discharged Client A from my management today. He is obviously engaging and the work you are doing is and has obviously been vital and life changing – Thank you“South Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Although Client A still struggles to go out on their own and prefers to be supported, they have been able to socialise with their friends in public.
Client A now feels ready to attend IAPT appointment at the surgery.
Impact Case 2 Mohammed and Abdul
Mohammed and Abdul pictured above are experiencing a multi-morbidity set of health problems.
Mohammed is an 88-year old Pakistani man whose wife let him five years ago to return to Pakistan. He is currently on 29 different medications; and is experiencing uncontrollable pain, immobility and anxiety.
Abdul is an 87-year old man who is experiencing frailty, intractable pain and isolation. In the last two years Abdul has had:
- 30 visits to secondary care under cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, pain clinic and neurology
- 78 visits to the GP
- 22 x repeat prescriptions each month.
With the help of Trudi, Mohammed and Abdul were brought together to support each other; they now arrange social activities together such as going to a men’s club, a mosque and into town.
Socialising together has reduced their experiences of anxiety and isolation, meaning coping with their physical health challenges was easier.
If you are interested in the EWA project or would like to hear about similar work in your neighbourhood, please contact your local GP.