By Nestac’s Dr Peggy Mulongo, Head of Health & Wellbeing Programme at NESTAC and Cross-Cultural Mental Health Practitioner
Read on to find out how Nestac’s ‘Ear for you’ project is helping emotionally vulnerable people within BAME communities who have been affected by coronavirus.
As part of DCMS Community Match Challenge through Global’s Make Some Noise, NESTAC has received a £30,000 grant for their ‘Ear for You’ campaign, a COVID-19 helpline. The ‘Ear for You’ project helps emotionally vulnerable people within the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) population who have been affected by the impact of the pandemic.
COVID 19 is both a public health crisis but also a crisis that has highlighted the existing mental health inequalities in the UK. Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities including migrant survivors of gender-based violence have historically experienced multiple disadvantages, and now have some of the worst health outcomes under COVID 19, which has recently been evidenced.
Since the lockdown, NESTAC has been receiving a huge number of phone calls relating to the following requests for emotional support:
- Unable to practice their faiths: not being able to attend mosques and churches, and missing out their weekly congregations
- Emotional support for women victims of violence and/or domestic abuse
- Stress and anxiety relating to misinterpretation of information due to language barriers
- Stress / anxiety related to bereavement (including funerals) and grief: the cultural approach to funerals has been deeply affected, challenging their traditions and beliefs…
To name just a few.
On #CharityTuesday here’s how the ‘Ear for You’ project from @Nestacuk helps emotionally vulnerable people within BAME communities who have been affected by #coronavirushttps://t.co/8YDXgHAuKB @MakeNoise from @global | #CommunitiesCan | #LetsTalkLoneliness pic.twitter.com/QPkuMxCWnY
— DCMS (@DCMS) February 9, 2021
We had to increase our staffing capacity to respond to the cross-culture emotional needs of clients. Our senior mental health staff are NMC and BACP registered cross-culture mental health specialists. They are all bilingual and assisted by bilingual trained Peer Mentors, who can provide basic emotional support in more than nine different languages.
The project has been adapted to respond to the mental distress related to current COVID-19 pandemic situation and related stressors post-COVID-19. Cross-cultural counselling and psychosocial therapy are provided to individuals from the BAME communities across Greater Manchester using an online platform. However, the project has attracted interest across the North-West and the Midlands, and we are not rejecting calls for distressed people calling us outside Greater Manchester.
Find out more about NESTAC’s ‘Ear for You’ campaign
Thanks to our guest author, Dr Peggy Mulongo – Head of Health & Wellbeing Programme at NESTAC and Cross-Cultural Mental Health Practitioner.