Vital Projects are a Bradford-based registered charity, supporting those suffering with mental ill health across the City, District and Airedale and Craven areas since our establishment in 1999. We help vulnerable individuals to get their voices heard and to navigate the health and social care system to get the services they need for better mental/physical health. The organisation provides advocacy, befriending, volunteering/training opportunities for people experiencing mental ill health, or who feel vulnerable due to other factors, including older age, trauma and illness.
Feedback from our own experiences and from our service users shows that:
• Mental and physical health are inextricably linked, yet time and again people tell us that their physical health is ignored because of their mental health diagnosis.
• People with mental health issues tend to have a shorter life, and this is often due to their physical health being ignored.
• People feel like they have no choice in the way they are treated, that they are 'done to' rather than involved in their care.
• People are unable to get support because their mental health isn’t judged to be ‘severe enough’.
• People are not given hope and aspirations for their future, due to their mental health condition.
What sets us apart from other agencies in the local area is that, rather than focus on a specific field of intervention, we base support on the view that “people are humans not just a diagnosis”. We aim to support and empower our service users in all areas of their lives, not just in their mental health. We believe that everyone has the right to access services without having to have a ‘qualifying level’ of mental ill-health.
Our focus is to provide help though “Experts by Experience”. We believe that those best qualified to empathise and provide support and guidance to our target group are those who have faced the same barriers, engaged in support services and developed day-to-day and long term coping strategies. Our service is delivered by passionate individuals, many of whom have their own experiences of mental ill health and have benefitted from our service. It is these people who have designed and shaped our plans for delivery, based on the direct feedback given by service users. We are proud to be a ‘user run’ organisation focused on peer and mentor support.
At Vital we have developed unique workshops and resources that can support people to develop skills in managing and improving their mental health. The workshops also help people develop skills in communicating and discussing mental health within a broader context, reducing stigma and discrimination.
We can provide several different workshops that include:
• Mental Health Awareness
• Mental Health in the Workplace
• Self Advocacy – this workshop explores the barriers we face in trying to speak up for ourselves
• Self Care & Well Being
• Self Care & Prevention
• Advocating for Others
• Work Place Mental Health Advocacy Skills.