By Mica Gray, Wellbeing practitioner, St Germain’s Church in Birmingham
Mica Gray is a Wellbeing practitioner at St Germain’s Church in Birmingham. Her role involves providing low intensity CBT support to people signed up for 1:1 support sessions.
I joined the St Germain’s Wellbeing service as a wellbeing practitioner just a few months ago in June this year. St Germain’s Wellbeing service works with people on the ground to support them with their mental health. Since joining the wellbeing team, I’ve had the privilege of being able to support people through really difficult periods of their lives through 1:1 sessions. It has been a joy to see service users who had initially expressed suicidal ideations come to feel better about their lives as the sessions progressed over the weeks – service users that might have otherwise easily slipped through service gaps and experienced further deteriorations in their mental health.
In addition to the 1:1 sessions, St Germain’s also offers a wellbeing drop-in on a Monday where people can access not only emotional support, but practical support with accessing housing, food, and benefits. Financial difficulty is repeatedly one of the main issues impacting our community and it is well known that when people do not have enough to eat, feel overwhelmed with bills and finances, mental health begins to deteriorate. Providing that holistic practical support at our drop-in therefore is a really important part of our suicide prevention and early help work.
One of the major successes of our drop-in is the number of men that attend. On average we have more men accessing our drop-in than women, which is notable considering the fact that historically men are less likely to access mental health and wellbeing services and especially considering that the suicide rate for men in the country is significantly higher than the rates of women.
Over the rest of the year, I am really looking forward to further developing our support offer to include group programs so that we can reach more people and improve wellbeing across our community. If you would like to find out more about our service, you can visit our website at https://www.stgermains.org.uk/wellbeing.