First Person Project C.I.C
First Person Project (FPP) is a social enterprise providing mental health action support workshops. We are a community interest company, our social aim is to create stronger communities, improving mental health and well-being for all. A desperate need for our service has been identified across multiple socially-deprived communities in the Liverpool City Region – this is where we have prioritised our efforts during Covid-19.
We have recently been successful in attaining approved supplier status with the Department of Work and Pensions, this will allow us to provide services to a wider scope of people. We will be helping individuals improve their own mental health and wellbeing which will contribute to the attainment and retention of jobs. We are also working with a regional social prescribing service and have affiliations with other local organisations.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We currently provide 1-to-1 coaching and offer mental health workshops for communities, although this element is currently paused due to social distancing. We have a fee based corporate offering to deliver coaching and workshops for SME’s and large enterprises. Revenue generated from corporate work subsidises the delivery of services to local communities who are unable to pay. We continue to work within communities on a 1:1 basis due to social distancing. Participant’s have experienced improved mental health/well-being outcomes, as well as improved outcomes in relation to social impact.
We also work to create networks across the community, so organisations and individuals can support one another using the tools and skills developed during the workshops. Participants of First Person Project mental health action workshops are empowered to manage their own mental health as well as provide support to friends, family and acquaintances who may not have had a chance to attend the workshops. This ensures that the impact and output of the workshops is long lasting.
We draw upon a variety of approaches in order to achieve our aims, including coaching (individual and group), solution-focused, cognitive-behavioral, neuro-lingusitic programming, critical thinking, action-learning and interpersonal development informed approaches.
Our work positively impacts many areas, including:
– Community asset development and resilience building
– Improved social support, inclusion and reduced exclusion
– Prevention focused, however, where needed, improved community asset building can result in social support being offered beyond the limited approaches of the bio-medical and psychological models.
– Our work has a positive impact with professionals and public health services too as stronger communities reduce the need for mainstream services, which are limited in both resource and outcomes. Longer-term, this will contribute to reduced waiting times and will help to support the facilitation of quicker access to mental health services for those in need.
What are your current priorities?
We are currently focused upon improving our offering to ensure that communities have timely access to our service and other affiliated services. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact upon the mental health of the nation and we are concerned for the future, therefore we have recently pivoted and changed our approach in order to respond to this increased need. We have recognised that the routes into our service need to be broadened in order to reach as many people as possible.
In response to this we have developed new relationships and entered new corporate markets with three main aims:
– To offer our skills and experience in order to have a lasting impact with a new corporate audience using a variety of remote working practices
– To support national organisations to reach a population of people who need support to find or keep work, again working remotely and creatively
– To invest all surplus monies back into our community in order to provide funded support for people in a timely manner
What challenges are you currently facing?
Coronavirus, lock-down, restrictions and an increased demand for mental health support have been huge challenges for us as a small organisation. Furthermore, grant funding has become more difficult to obtain as finances become increasingly restricted, making efforts to fund our work more complicated. We have responded to the challenge and created new opportunities for ourselves and the community. We have employed adapted working practices in order to ensure that our work can continue, this includes one to one community outreach, coaching and support in the absence of being able to work with groups.