“Home care can play a big part in tackling mental health issues,” says Amrit Dhaliwal, chief executive of Walfinch, the home care provider with over 25 franchised UK offices.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week [9-15 May] focusses on loneliness. The Mental Health Foundation says loneliness, which affects millions of people in the UK, is a key driver of poor mental health.
“Home carers, who are sometimes the only source of company for their clients, are vital in addressing loneliness and the mental health issues that can arise from it,” says Amrit Dhaliwal. “All of our locally-based care teams are trained to spot the possibility of mental health issues in their clients.”
Tiffany Meachim, managing director of the Walfinch office in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, says: “All our carers are trained in mental health awareness. It’s a requirement of carer training but we also focus on it because we see the importance of mental health to everyone’s overall wellbeing, and we offer carers the option of taking more advanced mental health courses, at no cost to themselves.”
Tiffany’s team recently worked with social services to help a client with mental health difficulties. “He wasn’t getting out of his home and was neglecting his personal care. He had no mobile phone or computer, so was provided with an iPad. He is very religious, so our carers helped him learn to use it to keep in touch with his religious community, attend virtual services and send emails.
“He’s now more confident, and is more likely to go out, even walking round to his local shop occasionally. Both social services and our team have been delighted to see his improvement.”
Daniel Mercier, NHS Mental health team manager with Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, who has worked in co-operation with Walfinch, says: “Walfinch carers always provided a person-centred, tailored approach when working with people with mental health needs. The Walfinch team were always willing to work collaboratively, which meant we were able to provide training to build on the mental health skills of carers, which directly benefited our service users.”
Amrit Dhaliwal adds: “People often forget the importance to overall health and wellbeing of seeing a friendly face for a chat on a regular basis, and as a care service we can provide that. One of our aims is to bring a sense of fun and enjoyment into the lives of our clients, so it’s no wonder that our companionship care calls are popular with clients and their families.”
If you want the satisfaction of helping to tackle mental health issues, among many others, find out about becoming a Walfinch home care franchisee with a local office of your own.
The minimum investment for a Walfinch franchise is £25,000 + VAT, plus working capital of £60,000 (totalling £90,000). We can introduce you to franchise funding specialists.
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