Connect is a five year National Lottery funded partnership project. It is part of the Help Through Crisis pot of money and involves Carlisle Eden Mind as lead body working with Cumbria Law Centre, Carlisle and Eden Citizens Advice and Cumbria Action for Social Support.
An important and developing part of our work is support for patients prior to discharge from Hadrian Unit, the main acute ward for mentally ill patients in Carlisle.
Our Caseworker has established a service to patients based on referral from staff, where following initial assessment of needs hopefully early in the admission we help to address issues relating to housing provision, income maximisation and benefits support using specialist provision provided by partners as necessary.
This work, although still being developed, not only provides pre discharge help but also follows the individual back into the community where there is continuity of support and further help available to promote resilience and help with preventing early relapse and possible readmission.
A key area for development, as our presence and involvement becomes more embedded, will be the earliest possible involvement with appropriate patients. Not only can this allow proper working relationships to develop, it also allows for the full range of support available under Connect to become involved and potentially address practical issues, alleviate anxiety and promote well being across the range of issues that often affect patients.