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Coronavirus update (30/03/2020): Forums are cancelled for 3 months

Dear Members,

As you are more than aware, at the moment the country is going through the Coronavirus pandemic which is deemed to last most of 2020.

Because of this, the board have been in regular contact and have taken the unusual decision, following Government guidance, to cancel all forum and board meetings for the next 3 months. This will be reviewed on a regular basis by the board.

I know that some of you look forward to attending the meetings and will also be finding the current situation we are in very difficult. All that I ask is that you don’t listen to ‘hearsay’ about COVID-19 and follow any official advice given on the following websites;

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you are needing any help during this pandemic, then may I suggest you either join the ‘Spirit of Salford Network’ Facebook page ran by Salford CVS & Salford City Council, where there are offers of help, as well as an Emergency Response Volunteer registry for those who are in a position to help others.

If you would like to register as a volunteer, the registration form can be found at https://www.salfordcvs.co.uk/emergency-response-volunteer-registration-form

During this time of social distancing and partial lockdown, I would encourage you to keep in touch with one another. Please remember there is organisations other than the NHS that will be able to help you which you can access using the ‘I need urgent help’ button on our website https://www.salfordmentalhealthforum.co.uk/get-help-now

If you are needing a more clinical response, GMMH have launched a 24 hour duty service for both Service Users and Carers on 01204 483071, If you are struggling, please call that number, Only attend A&E if you have physical injury as the NHS are extremely busy with coping with COVID-19.

To keep up to date with Forum news please keep an eye on our website https://www.salfordmentalhealthforum.co.uk/, where we are hoping to do a few online events for you to get involved with as well as ways to keep yourself mentally healthy during these difficult times, Please do not think you are on your own.

Also the NHS have their Every Mind Matters website https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters which have some useful tools for staying mentally well during this time.

Updates for Members

· Living Well Salford and the Peer Mentor Project have suspended all work at the moment, with the staff being seconded back into NHS Services. This will have a knock on effect on the employment of the Volunteer Coordinator and Peer Mentors. The core partners of Living Well Salford will be having regular conference calls as the situation evolves.

· GMMH have suspended all Recovery Academy course and Community services (CMHT, EIT, IAPT) have stopped face to face meetings for both the safety of Service Users and Staff. ( if you need support, please call 01204 483071).

· Salford CVS has allowed the end date for the £10k grant from 2019 to be extended another 3 months until July 2020, this may change, dependant on the COVID-19 situation.

· Lawrence Caygill, from MINDinSalford (MiS) has now been placed on the board temporarily since the Emotional & Mental Wellbeing Grants were awards to MiS to work with SMHF to not only develop us as a charity, but also deliver the Peer Mentor Project for Living Well Salford over the next 2 years.

· Going forward, once we are meeting again, I really would like your input into what you want to hear about at the forum. The last year has been an absolute pleasure (if not a little stressful), PLEASE give me some direction on what you want… after all, it is your charity, your forum and ultimately, is there for you and the community. Everything I have done so far has been with input by you all, and you should be proud of where we are. This charity is truly co-produced, so without each and every one of you, we could not be where we are today. Please email me with your ideas.

· I would also like to take time to give a special thank-you to Vania Burnell (Vice Chair), Karen Fitzsimon (Senior Independent Board Member) Catalina (Secretary) Paul Jackson for helping with our finances after Harold Sadly passed away, Kathryn Cheetham (Jelly & Ice Cream social enterprise) for helping to develop the forum and getting us to charity status and of course Caroline Allport (Salford CCG Engagement Officer). Not only have they taken on important roles within the forum, they have also had to put up with my inexperience and my Mental Health.

I really hope that we can get back on track at some point later this year, In the meantime, please look after yourself and your neighbours and please reach out if you need help or support. I will try to keep you all informed regularly about the forum but I would really encourage you to check the forum website as we are going to start making more use of it by posting agendas and minutes on there in future. https://www.salfordmentalhealthforum.co.uk/

Take care,

Dan Stears

Chairperson

Salford Mental Health Forum

https://www.salfordmentalhealthforum.co.uk/

Registered Charity: 1186806