Over recent years, Hear Us has grown into a dynamic, resourceful ‘pack a punch’ charity, with aims and objective not just being met but solidly delivered. Over the next three years, we will build on these successes: continuing to deliver high quality services; having a positive impact on the wider community; ensuring more effective commissioning and delivery of Croydon’s mental health services; and supporting providers (through systematic monitoring of services and open dialogue) to deliver good quality statutory and voluntary support to our service users. As a well-established and respected mental health charity (respected by service users, carers, the wider voluntary sector and many statutory services) we work hard to deliver support and care for the mental health community.
Some of the ways in which we work hard
We represent the views of people that use mental health services in Croydon to service providers and commissioners
We contribute to the local mental health promotion agenda, and promote positive mental health within the local community
We promote mutual respect and equality of rights and opportunities, regardless of disability, with particular reference to local mental health service users and service survivors
We actively campaign with users on issues raised by users themselves and actively oppose discrimination against service users in Croydon for improvements in local mental health services.
We reach out to all service users to encourage and support participation in the Open Forum.
We offer service users a communication platform for the constructive exchange of ideas on issues affecting them e.g. user council in which current concerns are discussed and debated.
We provide a wide range of information about local and national services and up and coming issues that concern users of mental health services in Croydon.
Our holistic approach (which includes support to access debt advice, social activities, counselling, talking therapies, Motability services, housing support, floating support, direct payments, GP services and more) enables us to ensure service users manage their circumstances / situation well (preventing crisis from triggering negative health and well-being).
The Hear Us Mental Health Open Forum is designed so that mental health service users can come together and discuss services they access and that affect them. This forum gives us a safe space to meet, ask questions and debate with the commissioner, South West London Integrated Care System (ICS) and Croydon Council, and service providers SLaM (the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust). Also other services, such as the voluntary sector, such as Mind in Croydon, The BME Forum, Status Employment, APCMH and others) are also able to come and discuss their services.
The Linkworking Project runs in different mental health services in Croydon, providing support to service users whilst also giving them a chance to raise any issues, concerns or compliments within that service, so that we can help support positive changes to be made and shape services to suit the service user.
The Hear Us Linkworkers are all current or ex-service users who have been through their own mental health issues and used local services to support their recovery. Using their experiences to help others, the Linkworkers are committed to supporting positive mental health in Croydon by supporting service users and helping to develop services that provide the help needed, as and when needed.
Our Volunteer Linkworkers are rewarded £15 per hour from SLaM’s Involvement Register. All out Linkworkers are registered with SLaM and can participate in a number of opportunities that SLaM run – visit SLaM Involvement Register Page here
Hear Us is a service user-run charity supporting adults with serious mental health challenges to access financial, health and social inclusion support within the borough of Croydon. We act to increase awareness of mental health.
The welfare surgeries project supports people with their benefits claims and other financial entitlements to ensure they obtain the right financial support. This includes access to foodbanks, energy vouchers and other forms of immediate financial support and access to mobility schemes eg freedom passes. This enables vulnerable people to keep warm, pay their bills and put food on the table.
The client groups we are funded to support are: People living within the London Borough of Croydon and who have a mental illness
The Reachout Challenge is an anti-stigma campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst public sector employees and the wider public. We do this through information sharing and talking about our lived experience of mental health so the wider community has a better understanding of the realities of living with mental health conditions. We have several formats we use, including information stalls, formal training and dialogues to communicate our message. We provide a myth-busting sheet which educates and informs people.