Wish provides a range of services to support women in secure environments and in the community; and to professionals working in secure settings to inform and support policy and practice.
Generic advocacy services do not meet women’s needs. They were not designed with women in mind and, as a result, women find them more difficult to access. Wish’s proactive model of Gender Specific Advocacy makes sure that all treatment, care and personal issues are addressed appropriately and sensitively. It is designed specifically to engage women who do not feel they have a voice, or find it difficult to assert their needs and views. The service works through building trust and consistent relationships. The ultimate aim is to equip and empower women to self-advocate. Wish works to give the level of support each individual needs, whilst maximising their opportunities to speak for themselves.
Community Link provides extended support to women in Greater London as they move from prison or secure hospital into the community. Its wraparound services equip women with the skills, security and self-esteem necessary for successful resettlement, through:
- Pathways tailored to each individual’s needs and aims, to ensure long-term and meaningful change
- Support to engage with services and attend court dates
- Links into statutory and voluntary services
- Support with housing and accommodation issues
- Financial assistance and benefits guidance
- One-to-one support whenever and as often as each woman needs
- Social contact and peer support
All aspects of service proposals and provision can be reviewed within a gender-sensitive framework, incorporating references to relevant government guidelines such as Into the Mainstream and the Gender Equality Duty.
Drawing on our unique expertise, we can assist on areas including :
- physical environment
- service user involvement
- meaningful daytime activities
- mission & values
We can also advise on the development of policies and procedures such as:
- transfer of patients
- nursing observations
- self injury
We have successfully piloted one year of our gender-specific counselling service in partnership with the social prescribers at The Mission General Practice in Tower Hamlets. We hope to expand and extend this service for a further 12 months, adding a second social prescribing partnership and employing a counselling coordinator, and are seeking funding to do so.
The Peer Consultant scheme offers service users paid work experience. Each post follows a full recruitment process, and echoes the real-life experience of job retention and personal and professional development. The scheme has expanded since its successful pilot, which saw Peer Consultants move into paid employment elsewhere.
Wish has previously carried out research on behalf of The Lankelly Chase Foundation, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and NSUN.
Our training is built on many years of experience, encapsulating both the wider social context of women’s mental ill health and the voice of the women using services.We currently offer two training courses, developed for staff working in inpatient settings and in the community:
- Gender Training Seminar
- Women’s Mental Health Awareness Training
Women’s Mental Health Network
The Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) is a partnership of voluntary organisations working across sectors, aiming to provide a user-led campaigning platform to give women with mental health needs a voice, and drive forward change. The WMHN’s focus is to improve women’s experience of using statutory services in a range of settings such as hospitals, prisons, drugs and alcohol, housing, social services, by influencing them to become more gender-specific. Find out more here.