Promoting better links between diverse communities and mental health services in Bristol
There are many reasons why community group members may find it difficult to access mental health services. These reasons will change across the diverse communities of Bristol. We're here to find out what those reasons are and what we can do to break down barriers and help people to get the right support.
Starting conversations about mental health
Talking about 'mental health' can be difficult. However, we all know how it feels to be tired, stressed or experiencing low moods. You don't have to have a mental illness to experience mental ill-health. There is still a huge amount of stigma attached to the subject and we aim to break this stigma down through conversations, activities and providing resources.
Feeding back to service providers
We are here to gather feedback from groups on local mental health services to pass on to funders and service providers. Positive and negative feedback is encouraged to help shape the future of mental health services in Bristol.
We make resources that can help anyone in Bristol find the right mental health service for them, increase their understanding of common mental health concerns, and look after their own emotional wellbeing. Many of our resources are aimed at particular equality groups, helping them find support that is led by their own equality community. All of our resources are free, and we have materials to download and print, watch or listen to.
What is CASS?
The Community Access Support Service (CASS) fosters stronger connections between community groups and mental health services in Bristol.
Community and voluntary groups offer a great deal of support and help to local people in Bristol. But what happens when a group member is finding it hard to cope? CASS provides information to community, equality and faith groups on which services are available locally as well as support with starting conversations about mental health.
CASS is managed by the Healthy Living Consortium of Wellspring Settlement (formerly Wellspring Healthy Living Centre), Knowle West Health Park and Southmead Development Trust, with support from Stand Against Racism & Inequality. We receive support from a steering group of local community groups to help shape the work we do. We also run two CASS events each year, helping to bring more community groups on board to discuss the future of mental health outreach across the city.
Three networkers are employed to reach out to groups in the north, south and inner/east areas of Bristol.
CASS Networkers can:
- Help groups understand mental health and other support services in Bristol
- Provide details of services so that group leaders can easily signpost their members when needed
- Give support to groups on how to start conversations about mental health and wellbeing
- Provide information about how to tackle the issue of mental health stigma
- Report to funders and service providers about how mental health services are being received by local communities and address barriers and access issues
What can a CASS networker provide for your group?
Discussion and activities about mental health
We're here to help your group start conversations about mental health and wellbeing. We realise that it can be a tricky subject, so we've got plenty of easy ways to get your group members thinking about what keeps them well emotionally. We can also run activities with your group to help them learn more about mental health.
Information about local services
Do you know where to go for mental health support in Bristol? It can be hard to keep up with all the new and changing services. Our networkers have lots of information about what's available in your area as well as guidance on Bristol Mental Health services.
In order to build a picture of how much Bristol groups know about mental health (and local services), we have a quick, easy questionnaire. Information given by groups is kept confidential within Bristol Mental Health.
A listening ear!
We're not just here to fire questions at you. We want to know how your group members have experienced mental health services in Bristol. Feedback of all kinds is encouraged and will be passed on to service commissioners (with your permission).
Questions? See our FAQ page.