At The Richardson Partnership for Care, service users with learning disabilities are offered psychological support as well as learning opportunities and health and social care. The level and nature of the psychological therapy depends on the service user’s individual needs and is determined following an initial assessment or regular ongoing assessments. For example, intensive psychological support will be required if the previous placement has broken down and/or the service user is presenting with challenging behaviour due to difficult and stressful circumstances.
We find that regular, weekly sessions with an Assistant Psychologist assist with mental health, psychological well-being, confidence and communication. They can also reduce dependence on medication.
These weekly sessions are tailored to meet the individuals’ needs and include:
- Talking sessions to develop self confidence and focus on the positive aspects of life
- Relaxation sessions to promote calm behaviour and mental well-being
- Psycho-education sessions which focus on subjects such as healthy lifestyles
- A ladies’ group which includes arts and crafts, beauty and baking sessions, and provides a valuable opportunity for ladies to spend some time in an all-female environment
These weekly sessions enable structured activities where service users can develop their hobbies and improve their hand-eye co-ordination. They help service users to increase their social participation, work as a team member and interact productively with other service users in their home.
Each psycho-education session includes a mental state/orientation assessment, and a mood/feelings assessment (using pictorial aids if appropriate). Regular monitoring and assessment helps us to ensure that the psychology sessions are effective at improving or maintaining the service user’s mental health as well as identifying any issues.