We are a Health and Social Care organisation specialising in working in mental health and well-being with communities traditionally seen as ‘hard to reach.’ Established a decade ago, we have developed excellent partnerships with communities across Birmingham and wider and have worked tirelessly to make a real difference at a grassroots level with communities.
Having recognised the urgent need to provide health and wellbeing programmes that have communities at the heart, we have delivered a range of social media and face to face wellbeing programmes which focus on upstream approaches to the health and social care landscape.
We help individuals, communities and service providers to overcome barriers to communication and the fulfilment of potential, ensuring that services are both accessible and relevant.
Our portfolio to date has included The Waiting Room, The Birmingham Barbershop Project, the Urbrum social media community platform, the Community Cohesion Programme, Suicide Prevention Training, Peer Support Programmes and the Connecting Community Networks Programme.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Common Unity are a grassroots organisation who work tirelessly to have the voices of communities heard and acted upon in respect of the bigger challenges within society. Suicide Prevention and wellbeing are high on this agenda. Communities bring with them assets and real opportunities to challenge the stigma and the impact of suicide across the board as well as being key players in identifying what needs to change to best promote health and wellbeing across communities.
What are your current priorities?
The continued delivery of the NHS Commissioned Connecting Community Networks Programme (CCN) across Birmingham and Solihull which directly, through the programme areas identified, supports those most vulnerable in our communities. CCN embraces the upstream approach in recognising that the key way of reducing suicide and promoting wellbeing across communities is through protection, promotion, prevention and education.
Preventing suicide through the delivery of suicide prevention training both licensed and tailored. We are Master Trainers in ASIST and safeTALK as well as the co-developers of the SCHEMA suicide prevention programme – a one day suicide intervention approach suitable for both professionals and communities.
The continued implementation of peer support programmes for Men known as ManMade which through targeting specific male groups (E.g. Carers, Mental Health, Prisons) supports men to both understand themselves and support each-other for improved quality of life. This work is done currently in association with key local partners working in the bereavement sector and suicide prevention.
The ongoing development of the Community Centred Urbrum Programme which highlights community assets, community issues and promotes a stronger understanding and tighter working relationship between decision makers and their communities.
The continued development of the hugely successful online support directory known as The Waiting Room – with over 30,000 hits on the 2nd incarnation of this community facing online support directory in the last 6 months alone, www.the-waitingroom.org is proving to be a one stop virtual support solution for citizens across Birmingham and Solihull.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Common Unity continue to strive hard in an ever shrinking third sector to make a real difference for communities regarding improved wellbeing and quality of life. One size fitting all is not applicable and the value in developing forward thinking solutions to challenging situations in our local communities cannot be understated.