When the Covid19 pandemic was confirmed we took the very difficult decision to suspend the Salford Mental Health Forum meetings as the health and wellbeing of members and the wider community was extremely important to us and we wanted to do everything we could to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst still continuing to offer advice and information to keep people safe and well.
As we now enter a new phase of lockdown, with some restrictions beginning to be lifted we wanted to provide you with an update on the Forum and tell you about the plans we are putting into place to ensure that we can continue to fulfil our charitable aims and objectives and also look at ways for members to stay in touch.
With social distancing guidelines in place it is unlikely that we will be able to re-introduce face to face meetings anytime in the near future so we are looking to introduce future Forum meetings via an online application called ‘Zoom’. We know that this application is being used successfully for other local community- based groups and we see that this as one way to enable us to stay in touch. If you have a PC, laptop, tablet or a smartphone with wifi access you can download the zoom application from the App Store free of charge.
We have been continuing to maintain and manage our website and ensure this contains all the latest advice on local organisations who can offer a range of support during these unprecedented times, however, we have now secured an additional resource which will enable us to enhance the website further. Enabling members to stay in touch is a priority but we also recognise that not everyone is able to access online services or digital opportunities so we are also looking at how we can bid for future funds to improve digital access and support our members.
We are interested in your views and ideas on new and creative ways we can all stay connected and provide support, this topic will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
We are planning to hold the next Forum meeting on Wednesday the 29th July at 12 noon and will send out details on how to join the meeting nearer to the above date, we do hope that you will be able to join us.
We understand that this is a difficult and challenging time for everyone and we will continue to look to develop new approaches but your safety and the safety of the wider community remains our priority.
Karen, Vania, Lawrence & Dan
The Trustees of Salford Mental Health Forum