Who is the Cumbria Mental Health Group?
Cumbria Mental Health Group (CMHG) is a service user and carer owned charity. We work at every level with people whose lives are affected by a range of mental health and wellbeing problems. Our main aim is to help influence and change the way mental health and wellbeing services are delivered in Cumbria.
The management of the charity is the overall responsibility of an elected committee of Trustees and we employ a team of highly skilled and experienced Development Workers and an Administrator to help our members to run and develop the charity to meet its objectives.
The Cumbria Mental Health Group works in partnership with all statutory and voluntary organisations. It plays a constructive and growing role across Cumbria, vigorously pursing key issues and concerns to seek practical solutions by working at three levels of influence:
• Local Community
• District Council
• County wide
How do we work?
Local Community - via informal involvement
Our small, informal community based forums and meetings are held regularly in community centres throughout Cumbria. These are run by our new locality management groups which are supported by our Development Workers. Attendees are usually previous or current users of services, families, friends, carers and/or other interested people.
The friendly informal environment enables highly valuable and beneficial exchanges of views, concerns and problem solving at a local level. The information is gathered as general themes and taken forward for further discussion at our bimonthly ‘Locality Meetings’. It goes without saying that when urgent issues and action is needed, the relevant managers are contacted.
However, we do not either advocate on represent individual cases and issues, we will sign post people to the relevant agencies who specialise in this work.
District Council - via locality meetings and workshops
Cumbria Mental Health Group also facilitates bi-monthly ‘Locality Meetings’ which are hosted by our Development Workers and the Locality Management Group. These are accessible to both service users/carers and professionals at a District level. County Council and Primary Care Trust (PCT) representatives as well as managers from other relevant statutory bodies like housing and employment. The aim of these meetings is to discuss key issues researched and solutions implemented locally or taken forward to a county level for more strategic development.
County wide - via strategic county wide discussion and portfolio workgroups
The county wide Cumbria Mental Health Group strategic Review Group consists of locality representatives and members specialising in specific areas. These ‘portfolio’s’ cover a broad range or service provision and special interest groups linked to Mental Health and Wellbeing. The group also collates the information from locality level, investigates and researches further into the areas of service development and takes the lead on strategic objectives.
The current list of portfolios’ are: Learning Disabilities, Older people & Dementia, Young people, Drug & Alcohol, Homelessness & Housing, Criminal Justice System, Finance/Benefit/Budgets, Respite care, Suicide prevention awareness, Care Pathways, Volunteering and employment, GP based primary care services, Activity based services, Community Services, Crisis Services, Out of area placements, Acute wards services, Black, minority and emigrant communities. Social – stigma, exclusion and civil rights, empowerment and engagement.
The work at local and county level enables users and carers to provide important help for the NHS, Cumbria Adult Social Care and other developing services.
We are always looking to attract new members to better represent their views,
concerns, issues and recommendations but also to offer them the opportunity to
help run and manage the charity and be involved in its engagement, consultation
and influence activities.