The Roma Support Group’s current Mental Health Advocacy Project aims to:
- Improve Roma community members’ access to mental health services
- Empower Roma community members to communicate more openly about mental health issues
- Improve mental health professionals’ knowledge of Roma culture and help them to communicate more effectively with Roma service users.
The mental health advocacy team provides one-to-one support to clients in understanding mental health issues, identifying appropriate mental health services and explaining health needs to professionals. We additionally run monthly peer support group meetings in which project beneficiaries can come together and discuss issues and coping strategies in an open and supportive environment. To further facilitate our clients’ understanding of mental health, we have created leaflets for service users that explain common mental health issues and outline strategies for seeking out support.
To facilitate better communication between health professionals and Roma service users, we have produced an informational leaflet for health service staff. This leaflet outlines key cultural beliefs and health taboos, common barriers to health services and practical tips for working with Roma patients.
We also offer twice yearly training sessions for health professionals, which are aimed at increasing awareness of Roma culture and providing effective communication and engagement techniques.
If you would like to refer a patient, are interested in a training session or would like to discuss this project further, please contact Sarah Zawacki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about our previous Mental Health Advocacy Project which ended in 2011, see our Health Projects page.