November 24, 2015
Introducing: Liverpool Community Development Services
Team Leader Karl Smith tells us a little bit about the service and some of our newest PSS people…
Liverpool Community Development Service (LCDS) is a new service designed to support Liverpool’s BME communities improve and understand mental health issues affecting them. In doing this, we engage with communities using a range of community development approaches to get to the heart of mental health and how best their issues can be reflected in services provided and the commissioning process.
Running alongside community engagement, LCDS also work and support Mental Health service providers to better understand how their services impact on BME communities. Advising them on any modifications they need to consider, making their services more appropriate to meet the needs of BME service users. Other support we give to service providers relates to what is known as Cultural Competency support and training. Cultural Competency is a process where support is given to mental health provider staff, increasing their awareness of: attitudes, knowledge, and skills that both the provider and the service user may, or may not have, when dealing with concepts linked to mental health. Mental health may have an established understanding within a Westernised culture but could mean something completely different in non- Western cultures. Another aspect of cultural competency is, to challenge systemic practices that may favour a “one size fits all” ethos, where all service users are treated as having the same/similar mental health needs and/or the same levels of understanding.
In addition to broad community development, LCDS also has a person-centred advocacy focus, with an advocacy specialist employed on a full time basis providing this support. The key component of LCDS’s Advocacy Worker is to support BME individuals’ access into appropriate services and support them in dealing with any external issues that may be impacting on their mental health. Another aspect of the Advocacy Worker’s role is to support individuals identify and challenge inappropriate practices and treatment which may prevent them from getting the appropriate support they need.
As the manager of Liverpool Community Development Services, I’m really excited to be working with PSS. To me PSS is an organisation that has a long history of understanding and delivering grass roots services, one that can only enhance the work that we are doing here at LCDS.
LCDS has been in existence since August 2015 and operates from the heart of the BME community in Liverpool 8. But in a sense the service is a continuation of a project that was run by Liverpool PCT called “The Community Development Team’ which operated for about 10 years as part of the NHS /Government’s Delivering Race Equality programme. The new service, commissioned by Liverpool CCG, is delivered by PSS, Mary Seacole House and Mersey Care in partnership.
Mohammed, Afrah and Dee all previously worked as Community Development Workers (CDW’s). They all bring experience, networks, good practice and memory that will ensure the transition from the CDW Project to LCDS will be seamless for both our partners and the communities we work with.
Want to know more:
T: 0151708 7414