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adult education and mental health

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Fylde Coast Self Care strategy event: Our learners lead the way!

Last week I attended the Fylde Coast Self Care Strategy Workshop at Blackpool Winter Gardens. This event was organised by the public health team. Evidence suggests that self-management education focusing on helping people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively manage their health is beneficial. Benefits include positive health outcomes, improved social outcomes and improvements in clinical outcomes i.e. blood pressure and mental health.

In the morning there were a number of guest speakers setting both the national and Local pictures from NHS England, Stockport Together and the director of Service Improvement and Deputy CEO of Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust. The speakers delivered comprehensive information about particular issues faced within the health sector and how new models that are now being considered. The main thing that stood out for me is the priority that Health Literacy is now being placed high on agendas – great news.

 In the afternoon we focused on specific elements that may support people with long term conditions. I was asked to facilitate one of these sessions with a focus upon health literacy I started each session with a brief overview of my new role and the Mental Health Research Pilot and then introduce one of our previous learners and now volunteer to talk about his experience of engaging with our courses. Well…. what a star Andy was! He had his audience thoroughly engaged and thanking him for such an insight into his journey of accessing the wellbeing programme with adult learning. This was such a confidence boost for him and promoted our project in ways that cannot be planned or paid for.

So, what I will take from this event is that there are interesting times ahead and it is imperative that we ensure that the right people such as practitioners and commissioners hear about this project along with the success stories from our learners to ensure it continues in the future.