The Association has published a new briefing with colleagues Centre for Mental Health and the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network on how the voluntary and community sector and statutory services can work together to support mental health in communities during the pandemic.
The global coronavirus outbreak is putting the mental as well as physical health of people around the world under strain. For people with existing mental health difficulties, this may be especially pronounced, at a time when mental health services are stretched and coping with higher sickness absence due to the virus.
Across the UK, voluntary and community organisations are already taking action and working with their NHS and local government partners in response to the pressing needs of the communities they serve and come from.
This briefing looks at how statutory service commissioners and providers are working with their voluntary and community sector partners to respond to the crisis and gives practical advice on how to build effective partnerships locally.
Key elements of effective partnership working include:
- Enabling VCS staff and volunteers to work safely alongside NHS, social care and public health colleagues, including with access to protective equipment and training in how to use it
- Supporting smaller organisations that work with groups with higher risks to mental health or who find mainstream support less helpful
- Maintaining safeguarding to protect people at risk of abuse or exploitation