Livewell Southwest’s Insight Team based at the Zone work with people who are experiencing symptoms indicating the early onset of a psychotic episode; assessing, supporting, care coordinating and aiming to prevent relapse or hospital admission for up to three years. Like many other services across Livewell, the Insight Team have been exploring new ways to support the people they care for during COVID-19.
Claire O’Donovan, an Occupational Therapist by training, is being ably supported by her daughters in preparing wellbeing boxes for clients deemed most vulnerable. The boxes contain toilet paper, coffee, powdered milk and other non-perishables, as well as self-care items such as stress relieving colouring books and support information to help maintain both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Care coordinators on the team are also continuing to support their clients with digital appointments. Meanwhile, support worker Thalia Pilcher who previously ran coffee groups, cooking groups and cinema groups has taken her support online, and clients are now attending virtual coffee groups where they can chat to one another as well as Thalia. These are vital for helping maintain good mental wellbeing and social connections.
There are still some clients who need to visit the Zone to pick up important prescriptions, and the staff remaining within the building are manning doors and cleaning waiting areas regularly to ensure compliance with social distancing measures.
As well as making sure clients are well supported, the team are also ensuring to check in with each other. Team manager Darren Lloyd said: “We are meeting via video call twice a day. In the morning we look at the work for the day ahead, then meet up in the afternoon to discuss our progress and any issues from the day. As well as the allocation of work, the video call sessions also act as a virtual social catch-up for the team as working away from the team hub for prolonged periods can be a daunting prospect.
“The team as a whole have been magnificent through all of this, looking at new ways to engage our clients and support each other. I’m very proud of them all.”
Claire is grateful to everyone who has donated to enable her to make her wellbeing boxes. If you would like to donate, you can view their Amazon wishlist here or make a Paypal donation to [email protected]
For more information on coronavirus including advice for those at higher risk or self-isolating, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough please stay at home and use the 111 online coronavirus service. Please do not call 111 unless you cannot get help online.
If you are struggling to manage any concerns or anxiety you may be experiencing, please visit www.plymouthoptions.com who are able to provide support via telephone appointment, video consultation or computerised cognitive behaviour therapy for people experiencing common mental health problems (aged over 16 and registered with a Plymouth GP).
Plymouth Options is not an emergency service for people at high risk to themselves or others. If you feel you are in crisis or need more urgent support please contact your GP or NHS Direct 111. Please click here to view other forms of support.