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News and Events

On this page you'll be able to find out what's going on around the Trust and catch up on all the latest Trust news.

Staff raise funds for Trust’s charity

Last week was extra busy for staff at the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as they celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week with a variety of activities.

Each year during mental health awareness week the Trust highlights the help and support available for people in order to get them talking about mental health, which also helps eliminate the stigma often associated with mental ill health. This saw staff going into schools and businesses to provide stress awareness workshops, and holding events to highlight services and information available.

For the first time this year the Trust also facilitated not one, but two large charity events to promote the benefits of physical activity and maintaining wellbeing.

On a Tuesday 14th May, 48 members of staff took to the football pitches in Darlaston to play in the Trust’s Charity Football Tournament, and played fantastically, showcasing great teamwork and sportsmanship. The friendly, but competitive, games were watched by supportive staff, family and spectators alike, and also via our Facebook Livestream.

Just three days later on Friday evening another spectacular Trust fundraiser took place at the YMCA in West Bromwich, when more staff came together to zumba the night away and have some fun, whilst also raising funds for the Trust’s charity.

Judy McDonald, Deputy Director of Nursing who organised the zumba event said, “We wanted to make our fun charity events inclusive to all staff, and both events provided a fantastic opportunity for staff from all corners of the Trust to come together, unwind and enjoy themselves whilst meeting new colleagues and improving their physical and mental wellbeing. 

Thanks to the generosity of all involved, and everyone who supported the events, we also raised a fantastic £500 which will be spent for the benefit of our service users.

Meeting new people, having fun and raising funds for charity all at the same time is a gratifying feeling and we look forward to organising more events in the coming months.”

If you wish to make a donation to our charity, you can do so by visiting: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/blackcountrypartnershipnhsfoundationtrustcharity.

Proud to celebrate mental health awareness week

IMG 0037NEW2Our Trust is proud to be celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, 13 – 19th May, the theme of which is body image, by organising a full week of activities and events.

Various activities will be taking place during the week including: a week long twitter campaign providing daily tips about maintaining good mental health and wellbeing; Wolverhampton’s Health Minds service is providing stress awareness workshops and training to local businesses; Penn Hospital is holding an interactive event in their main reception;  and staff are attending Sandwell College to offer advice to students.

We all know how exercise and the outdoors improves our mental health, which is why last night staff held a football tournament, taking to the pitches to have a kick about not only to improve their own mental wellbeing, but also to raise funds for the Trust’s charity. And if that isn’t enough on Friday evening a two hours zumbathon is taking place which will see even more money being raised for the Trust’s charity.

Also, on Friday we are holding a Facebook live body image question and answer session, jointly with colleagues from Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust. Members of the public are invited to tune into our Facebook live session @BCPFT or @DWMHNHS, on Friday between 1pm – 2pm to ask our experts any questions, and also find out about top tips for creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their body.

Body image has been chosen as the Mental Health Foundation’s awareness raising theme this year following research which identified that around one-third of British teenagers feel ashamed of their body, and following a survey carried out on their behalf that the same number of young people have changed their eating habits in an effort to change the way they look.

Penn Hospital celebrates Vaisakhi

Samosas were flying off the plate at the Trust’s celebration of Vaisakhi last week at Penn Hospital! At Vaisakhi, Sikhs celebrate the founding of the Khalsa, the collective body of baptised Sikhs created in 1699. Around the time of this festival, those ready to join the Khalsa are baptised. Vaisakhi is also seen as the Sikh New Year Festival.

The event, hosted by the Trust’s Spiritual Care Team, brought together staff, patients and members of the local Sikh Community to share South Asian food, meet the Trust’s Sikh Chaplain and to find out more about this special Sikh festival. One member of staff also made some special eggless cupcakes in the colours of Vaisakhi to share with those who came. The Sikh Chaplain from New Cross Hospital also joined us, and recited prayers of blessing over the food to open the celebration. One of the local Sikh Gurdwaras provided all the samosas and are keen to work more closely with our Trust to promote understanding of mental health and wellbeing within the community.

For photos of the event, why not take a look at our Facebook page!

Black Country Living in bloom

April has been a busy month for the Trust’s Recovery College, as they have been digging up over 200 years of history…and local gardens! Collaborating with the award winning Black Country Living Museum and assisted by their head gardener, students are rolling up their sleeves and working on the site’s 1920s toll house garden, growing period specific fruit, plants and vegetables, such as beetroot, carrots and potatoes.

The gardening activities are currently led by a volunteer of the college, who aids the students’ in maintaining the famous site’s historical identity whilst bringing the gardens to life. Their recent cultivation tasks have included creating wigwams from branches to grow sweet peas and runner beans, keeping areas weed free and clearing overgrown paths and beds to make way for a herb garden.

The botany project is an ongoing volunteering venture, with students attending every Friday to manage and sustain their growing herb garden, engage with visitors about the history of the landscape and learn more about horticulture. With future continuous handiwork, teamwork and development, students can also expect to further opportunities within the museum. Students have positively embraced the gardening scheme, with one student commenting, “I feel my life has started! I am so excited the day before and hope this leads to more opportunities, maybe even paid work.” We look forward to seeing the literal fruits of their labour in weeks to come!

Hallam Street Hospital springs to life!

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hallam refurb

The weather may not currently be in our favour, but spring has arrived at Hallam Street Hospital, with cleaning, refurbishment and spots of colour warming up the site to create a light, airy and therapeutic environment.

The spring refurbishment project, managed by Jay Patel, Estates and Facilities Team along with Michelle Young Matron, has provided the hospital with new furnishings in what is now a brighter and more welcoming environment. The team have done a fantastic job of revitalising Friar Ward, as seen in the photos. The unit has been given a fresh lick of paint and a scenic mural to help create a warm welcoming ambiance.

The team have received a plethora of positive feedback from patients, visitors and staff, and are currently undertaking plans to spruce up Charlemont Ward and Abbey Ward.

Site Facilities Manager Jay Patel says, “We are pleased with the progress we have made so far, and hope the improvements have made the facility a place that both staff, patients and visitors can be proud of. We hope this homely, friendly redesign will aid patients in feeling safe and calm.”

A massive well done to everyone involved in this project, and we can’t wait to see future results!

Black Country mental health service provides care and treatment to local mums

New and expectant mums living in the Black Country can access care and treatment from a specialist perinatal community mental health service.

Every year, Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (April 29 - May 5) helps to raise awareness of the challenges of motherhood and encourages mothers to seek help. With this in mind, local health professionals would like to remind new and expectant mums of the support they offer through the specialist perinatal service.

The service provides care and treatment to women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties related to preconception, pregnancy and the first post-partum year. Midwives and GPs can refer new and expectant mums to a specialist clinic, where they receive high quality care from a consultant perinatal psychiatrist and community psychiatric nurses who work together to provide a comprehensive service to mums and their infants.

Abigail Masara, a specialist mental health practitioner within the service, has the responsibility of assessing expectant mums, coordinating their care (which can be in clinic, at home or in hospital/children’s centres) and offers mild cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

“I love my job so much,” Abigail said.

“Meeting women at such a vulnerable time can be difficult but it is so rewarding for me to walk the journey alongside them and help them to recover and live a fulfilling life with their baby.

“I work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) with a great bunch of people who are always so supportive which also really makes a positive difference.”

Abigail’s mental health message to local mums is; “Just like a physical illness, mental health conditions can creep up on anyone. Don’t be scared to seek guidance because there is always help out there.”

The specialist perinatal community mental health service was set up across the Black Country in January this year, following an investment of £1.2million.

Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive at Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health in the Black Country and West Birmingham said; “It is important we continue to help women in the perinatal period to feel able to talk about their mental health and get help as early as possible.

“By developing and enhancing perinatal mental health clinics across the Black Country, we can ensure local women and their families are provided with better, more timely support and treatment when they need it.”

Recovery College celebrates success of students

IMG 0175 NEWOur Trust's Recovery College celebrated the successful graduation of 96 determined students who completed their courses at the college and graduated with honours…and song!

Based in Oldbury, the college is open to those who use our services, be it a carer, family member, supporter or even staff member. A dedicated team of staff deliver courses that have been developed with and for people who have been affected by mental health issues, with the aim of using learning and coproduction to support recovery and opportunity.

During the last term, students at the college have managed to overcome challenges and achieve positive direction in their personal journeys to recovery through a variety of practical and life-changing courses, such as coping with anxiety, CBT awareness and creative writing, to name a few.