The Department of Health guidance documents have highlighted the lack of specialist mental health provision for deaf service users especially those with offending backgrounds. Our experience has shown that there is also a gap in learning disability provision for these individuals. Given the expertise Aspirations has in supporting people with forensic backgrounds with mental health needs and learning disabilities, a specialist service in the North West is being developed. The aim for this service is to address this imbalance as well as providing support for non-offending deaf individuals with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities.
About the service
Aspirations aim is to ensure that any individual we support are able to improve their quality of life by developing their "Life Skills", so they can live successfully in the community. The support we provide might include;
- Help with applying for benefits and appropriate environmental aids
- Support with shopping and making the best use of local resources
- Assistance to return to education or employment
- Help with sourcing appropriate affordable housing
- Transitioning from a hospital or a residential placement into a new home
- Seeking out education and employment opportunities
- Developing a person’s well being
- Help developing and forming friendships
Our packages of care include;
- Daytime, evening and weekend support
- On call assistance which is available 24 hours a day
- Responding to people who have personal budgets
- Support at times of change in a person’s life eg; moving between support services or out of the family home
- Support moving out of inpatient settings back into the community
Bespoke Care Plans ( like the ones below) are created for each individual we support using the Widget software programme .These are then reviewed regularly, to help ensure the individual is able to successfully live in the community.
If you would like more information or would like to make a referral please contact;
About the team
Nicky Vaughan, the Regional Manager and Lucy Howe, the Registered Manager for the North West Region are leading this service. Both are fluent in British Sign Language and have practiced in this field for several years so are in an ideal position to ensure person specific support is provided in the community to deaf individuals with or without forensic histories, learning disabilities and/ or mental health needs.
Nicky, who originally trained as a mental health nurse, has 22 years’ experience within the health and social care sector. As well as working in supported community living and domiciliary services Nicky has spent 10 years of her career specialising in; acquired brain injury, deafness within a forensic setting and managing mental health, autism and learning disability inpatient services. Nicky also underwent training several years ago to enable her to teach challenging behaviour management which included an adapted course for conflict management in forensic deaf services.
Lucy is also qualified as a mental health nurse with a degree in Social Work Studies, and has worked as clinical nurse lead in various settings with a primary focus in supporting those with forensic needs. In addition Lucy has guided teams in; risk assessments, behavioural management, and working with sex offenders having worked as part of a team, delivering a Sex Offender Treatment Programme/ Adapted Cycle for Learning Disability and British Sign Language.
The Support Team
The support team who work alongside Nicky and Lucy all receive bespoke training to ensure they have the specific skill set to support these individuals and enable them to build meaningful relationships. For example;
- Mental health,
- Deaf awareness,
- British Sign Language,
- Acquired brain injury.