Monday’s asset mapping session brought together people using services and practitioners, to collect and collate local knowledge in and around Kirkintilloch, on the subject of well-being and positive mental health. We were really keen to ensure that the workshop brought together a range of people on an equal footing so that they could share and learn from one another.
We had a great turnout with 7 people who use services and 8 practitioners from services such as health improvement, peer support, occupational therapy, social work, the Richmond Fellowship, Ceartas (Advocacy), Connections and Carer’s Link coming along.
What we did
The session lasted for 4 hours (with lunch). We split into 2 groups and thought about the little things that we all do everyday that help to keep us well.
The types of activities that people identified included:
- having contact with groups of friends and a support network
- cycling in good weather (including keeping yourself organised for this and getting everything packed)
- dog walking (for someone to talk to, who doesn’t answer back)
- walking by the canal and expanding your routes
- setting up breakfast dishes the night before – so that the day is easy to step into
- going to the gym (helps with energy levels)
- running (with people) – good for you, but you might feel the benefit more afterwards
- having some music playing to gradually get you into the swing of things in the morning (a soundtrack to your activity levels)
- having a local, regular place to go to meet people who are going through similar experiences
- gardening and looking at flowers – can be really therapeutic to take some time to yourself (in the summer).
We were able to pick out different themes from the range of activities people talked about. These were:
- social – having contact with others
- physical – keeping busy by doing things
- senses – thinking outside of yourself and being aware of how things look, sound, smell etc.
- Seagull Trust barges (and the canal) – feels like you’re in another world!
- Church – good place to meet people and have some space to think
- Citizens advice – very professional service
- Ceartas – lots of positivity around this service
- Charity shops – places where its easy to talk to others, great for volunteering
- Food co-op – highly visible, good produce and good place to see volunteering in action
- Ghilloni’s – much love and admiration for this place
- Kirkintilloch Health and Care Centre – good that it is all under one roof, but some things about it could be better.
- transport – really difficult to get around east Dunbartonshire which makes it hard to get groups together. Dial-a-bus is also difficult to organise
- out-of-hours services were not viewed favourably
- planning meetings – it can be really difficult to get your voice heard, even though people do make an effort to make you feel welcome.
- costs of services
- there are not many day activities available – something that gives your day structure would be good
- it may be necessary to have a pre-meeting to prepare
- feedback the whole way through the process is vital
- it should be open, honest and be true engagement
- advertise meetings well, so that people know what to expect
- ensure there are lots of ways for people to gather views i.e. through the post, online, in person, social media etc.
- get rid of the jargon
- use advocates to assist this process as much as possible.
- is over 60 the right bracket any more?
- need to ensure people know how to access services
- bus passes should continue
- need to think about what is happening locally for older people (and how this links into national policies)
- a central venue that people can access
- gives people things to do, as well as developing skills and meeting others
- a useful way to help people move on to other things
- a community venue would be good
- could charge a minimum amount to cover costs
- to have a meeting once a month to go over any problems which may arise (at the moment there is only one way to make enquiries, and it is often unavailable)
- meetings could be advertised in local shops or libraries
- a newsletter would be really good.
- very important to have continuity throughout the process – the same mentor and the same method of communication
- softening of the environment so that you can take part in different types of conversations
- one-to-one emotional support once a week is important
- something to keep you occupied so that you are not worrying before an appointment
- literature currently focused on absence, misconduct and discipline rather than health and well-being. It is important to ensure that the tone and language used in the paperwork is softened (as well as reducing the volume of correspondence!)
- a back-to-work mentor is particularly useful for follow-up meetings and conversations.