These two case studies highlight some of the ways in which we are continuing to support the well-being of our clients during COVID-19.
ASPIRE online Well-being Programme
Our Social Prescribing Well-being project ASPIRE supports people with their health and well-being by connecting them up with services and activities in their local community.
Nancy* first came to ASPIRE looking for help with anxiety and self-isolation. We met with Nancy to explore her interests and different needs. In Nancy’s words: “They discussed my interests and suggested several novel, accessible and practical group activities and events; they listened to my social and financial concerns and directed me to the appropriate people”.
At this time the COVID-19 crisis was deepening and it was clear community services would no longer be able to offer face-to-face supports – a situation that would affect many of our clients.
In response, we created an online Well-being Programme designed to bring people together in a small, supportive online group to connect and learn practical skills such as coping with stress, relaxation techniques and self-care during challenging times.
Nancy enthusiastically engaged with the online programme and found it to be practical and useful. She enjoyed discussing coping strategies with the facilitator and fellow participants, engaging in self-reflection and relaxation practices, and particularly valued the “fun group interaction”.
The life-enhancing effect of participating in the ASPIRE programme is clear to Nancy, as she says that it has “helped me change the way I am approaching my life”.
*The client’s name has been changed for reasons of confidentiality.
ASPIRE (Adult Social Prescribing for Individual Resilience & Empowerment) is run by Bray Area Partnership, with funding from Sláintecare and Healthy Ireland and support from SICAP.
SPECS Well-being Packs for Parents
Our SPECS family support project is supporting parents through the COVID-19 crisis by providing them with Well-being Self-care Packs.
Parenting can be stressful at the best of times, but with COVID-19 restrictions many families are left with limited support, extra time with their children and uncertainty about what the future holds. For many, the crisis has intensified the stressors in their lives - with worries over income, parenting alone in isolation, food for the household, balancing job roles, lack of childcare, mental health and addiction issues and trying to home school – and for some the additional loss of their normal support circles.
Knowing that when parents are calmer it’s easier for them to be there for their children and meet their needs, SPECS put together Well-being Self-care packs and dropped them in person to parents’ doors to check in from a social distance how families were coping.
The packs encourage parents to ‘take a break’ and include a mindfulness exercise and a gratitude journal to help them pay attention to their feelings, restore a sense of calm and focus on positives in their day. There’s also a mindfulness colouring book, toiletries, herbal teas and chocolate treats to have during some ‘quiet time’ relaxing and taking a breather.
Above all, the packs are designed to remind parents that their own needs and feelings are just as important as their children’s during these difficult times.
SPECS (Supporting Parents and Early Childhood Services) is an initiative led by Bray Area Partnership, working with other local groups. SPECS takes a prevention and early intervention approach to working with parents to improve outcomes for children through a range of programmes. The project is funded by Tusla under the Government’s Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme, with support from SICAP.