Before the word ‘isolated’ took on a new meaning, it described many of the people St Martins supports. Due to poor mental health and sometimes other factors, including addiction and illness, there are a number of people who receive regular contact from our Community Services team.
Head of Community Services for St Martins Lucy Bone said, “In early March when news that the coronavirus was likely to spread in the UK, we completed a specific risk assessment for each person in our service.”
The number of people currently supported by the community team is 93. Lucy said, “Where possible, the risk assessment was completed face-to-face by a support worker and it covered existing physical health conditions, any medication the person is on, how they usually access their prescriptions and how often. We also asked them questions about their food supplies and how they are funding their utilities and whether they need any help with this. We also looked at the potential impact of a serious mental health crisis if they do not receive the support they are used to.”
We are following government advice, so while our premises at Under 1 Roof is closed, the team are doing daily welfare phone calls – currently on the days that the group normally meets for the sense of structure and routine. Lucy said, “We may increase this if needed. Where people had no phone, we have supplied these.”
The people who were used to support in the community are still receiving face-to-face support where they can, while maintaining social distancing rules.
Lucy said, “We are continuously risk assessing as we go. You’ve got to have a plan at all times and be versatile as the situation changes. We work with vulnerable people who could go into crisis.”
Emergency support is available via the Under 1’s Wing service which continues to offer face-to-face crisis intervention six days a week throughout the evening.
View the video below to learn more about the Under 1’s Wing service