Easy Read ‘How to Stay Well-Looking after your mental health’ Booklet launched20/11/2020
Learning Disability clients within the Western Trust have helped co-produce an easy read mental health booklet ‘How to Stay Well-Looking after your mental health’.
The booklet funded by HIEI, through Involvement Transformation funding was co-produced by Adult Learning Disability services users, Health Facilitators and Health Improvement, Equality & Involvement Team with the support of Easy Read Online.
Gemma Smyth, Health Facilitator for the Western Trust explains: “The Foundation for people with Learning disabilities state between 25-40% of people with learning disabilities experience mental health problems. This was evident from carrying out annual health checks across Western Trust area where issues such as low self-esteem and relationship difficulties were highlighted. These issues add to the stress of everyday living for Adults with a Learning Disability.
Gemma continued: “The idea of having a booklet as a guide for looking after mental health and wellbeing was discussed with service users and we are extremely proud that this idea has come to fruition with the launch of this easy read book. The co design of the booklet was led by Bernie Dooher and myself in conjunction with Adults LD service users, the Health Improvement, Equality & Involvement Team as well as valuable input from a Consultant Psychiatrist within the Adult Learning Disability team, GP, Mental Health Nurse and the Recovery College.
“The booklet provides helpful ideas on how to stay physically and mentally well. Making healthy food choices, moving your body more, maintaining contact with friends and family and getting a good night’s sleep are all important in maximising good health and reducing your chances of becoming unwell. The aim of the booklet is to help services users to learn more about what mental health is and how they can take care of their own mental health.
“The 5 Steps to Wellbeing, as recommended by the Public Health Agency (PHA) is promoted at annual health checks and is referenced within the booklet. The booklet has graphics and information that can help Adults with a Learning Disability recognise signs that their mental health is not good and offers advice on what to do, who to talk to and when to see their G.P.
Gemma concluded: “It is especially important now during the Covid-19 pandemic that Adults with a Learning disability know how to stay well and where to get support if needed. A leaflet to accompany this booklet has also been produced which advises we have to do things differently now to keep safe and look after our mental health during this difficult time.
The booklet will be available in our hospitals, day care centres and community facilities across the Western Trust area. An online version is also available here.
For more information, please contact Health Improvement, Equality & Involvement Team on Telephone: 028 7186 5127 or email: Health.Improvement@westerntrust.hscni.net