Improving Mental Health Provision CIC (IMHP) was set up in 2017 by Abigail Ziering - Lewis, Natasha Boardman-Steer and others to support mental health and wellbeing in Medway.

Our current and proposed activities will provide benefit to those experiencing difficulty with their mental health in Medway inclusive of individuals with complex needs, neurological conditions, or parallel issues such as homelessness and substance misuse - appropriate services will be signposted and referred to for matters outside of our remit but these individuals will not be turned away for activities and mental health support that are of benefit to them.

Further to the above due to the co-productive and fully inclusive nature of the structure and activities people in the community affected by mental health issues are greatly empowered.

Team members can be anyone with a personal or professional interest in mental health and involved in planning and decision making. They can be involved in a hands-on manner if they choose as volunteers or if possible as employees.

We also have provision for a sub-committee to involve key professionals in an advisory manner who cannot become members due to their employer’s regulations or do not wish to be. These panels may also include the people using mental health services and the key professionals amongst our team

Regular open meetings are held with broad publicity, at these we can take onboard the views of the wider community. We will also provide open anonymous polls on our website and social media regarding decisions and delivery and continue to circulate surveys and process data to inform our practice and to share overall anonymous data with other local organisations and services in the interest of collaborative working practice.

We aim to relieve pressure on frontline services such as the Police, out of hours NHS services, and A&E through our current delivery and planned expansion of these as well as introduction of overnight support. This will also have a positive impact on other NHS and community services in regard to further choices for those using services and lessening of workloads for employees of these services. IMHP has set out as a complementary and supportive service to other local organisations and services and to this end we have commenced and will continue a consultation process with the other services and organisations in and around the sector. We have formed some strong partnerships and are actively seeking others to better support the community.

Carers and professionals in and around mental health are also supported and signposted to appropriate services and we plan to offer some informal respite as soon as possible.

As our delivery expands we will be increasing active in supporting students requiring placements (particularly in social work, psychology, well-being work, nursing, and law enforcement, these can be professionally supervised as required) and jobseekers, including those with mental or physical health conditions requiring flexible and supportive volunteer and where possible waged positions.