UPDATE: SOAR’s Emotional Wellbeing Advocacy Project

SOAR’s Emotional Wellbeing Advocacy project has been doing some great work over the last few months. EWA Worker Trudi gives us an update.

The EWA project provides ongoing support to patients with common mild to moderate mental health problems, who are experiencing social disadvantage and struggling to access other opportunities to improve their condition. Patients are regularly referred from Shiregreen, Page Hall and Burngreave surgeries to receive support.

The project is now in its fourth month and Trudi is providing bespoke support during home visits to develop coping and self-management techniques, reduce social isolation and boost client’s confidence to complete daily tasks.

Examples of Trudi’s work include helping patients undertake their food shopping, completing welfare and benefits paperwork, providing resources and support to leave the house, attending various appointments together and reading and understanding mail.

One client said of Trudi’s work: “Thank you so much. It feels like a weight has been lifted and I can face things,” while another said: “I enjoy Trudi’s support, and knowing she is always on other end of the phone.”

Trudi tailors her support to the needs of each individual and has even been involved with setting up an online food shopping account for a client living in an isolated area, helping to save time and money.

Regular contact with the pharmaceutical team allows Trudi to understand clients’ medication if necessary, and ensure they are taking the medication correctly.

Trudi’s support has also positively reduced the number of unnecessary emergency calls in certain cases and she has been a vital contact and support mechanism for many patients, reducing the dependency on GPs.

She has created positive relationships with the IAPT workers, can book directly into their calendars and can arrange informal ten minute meetings with the worker and the client to help increase their confidence and readiness to attend an IAPT appointment.

Her work is being appreciated by partner organisations too. One frequent caller case officer said: “I have discharged the client from my management. He is obviously engaging and the work you are doing is and has obviously been vital and life changing – thank you.”

And EWA Worker Trudi said: “It’s great to see patients growing in confidence in their own abilities by providing bespoke support and a helping hand.”

The project is managed by SOAR in partnership with the North 2 GP neighbourhood who have provided the funding and are heavily involved in the development and implementation of EWA.

The next steps for the project will be to work with Sheffield School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR) to develop a robust evaluation framework and evidence the positive results and case studies.

If you are interested in the EWA project, or would like to hear more about the work with the GP neighbourhood then please contact Maddy Wood: 07507 791471 maddy.wood@soarcommunity.org.uk