Our Impact

We provide culturally sensitive services & advise organisations in this complex area, as well as educational institutions with their curriculum.

The individuals that we support experience racism and discrimination in their daily lives. We have built strong relationships with them and take the time to understand the barriers that they face when trying to access public services. The service also addresses inequalities within mental health provision by representing the interests of its service users to the health sector, social care sector, researchers and other agencies. We support over 500 individuals across Merseyside each year.

Mental Health is often misunderstood by Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic & Refugee communities due to barriers with language, cultural sensitivities, and religious beliefs. We as a charity hope to educate and dispel myths surrounding mental health stigma, we do this through our awareness raising events and countless activities incorporating campaigns which highlight issues important to the individuals we support. We assist GP practices and other health organisations to become culturally competent and help to promote various health initiatives and campaigns as well as delivering our own mental health and wellbeing activities, improving health equity for our diverse communities. We offer a person-centred holistic approach, with our emotional support, individuals trust that they are in a safe place when visiting Mary Seacole House.

“I am valued and respected there regardless of my mental health, race or faith.

 I feel a sense of belonging, I feel included.”

Mary Seacole House Service User

“I am valued and respected there regardless of my mental health, race or faith.
 I feel a sense of belonging,
I feel included.”
Mary Seacole House Service User

“Mary Seacole House has made sure that I have a place to attend for the last 12 years. The staff have ensured that I stay well, which has enabled me to stay out of hospital. The services Mary Seacole House provides has made sure I have access to many charitable services. These services help with benefits, housing, well-being services.

The main services are all interconnected to mental health to benefit services, which take a lot of pressure off myself. Which means I stay in the community, not become a revolving door patient.”

Mohamed Abdi - Mary Seacole House Service User

“Mary Seacole House has made sure that I have a place to attend for the last 12 years. The staff have ensured that I stay well, which has enabled me to stay out of hospital.
The services Mary Seacole House provides has made sure I have access to many charitable services. These services help with benefits, housing, well-being services.
The main services are all interconnected to mental health to benefit services, which take a lot of pressure off myself. Which means I stay in the community, not become a revolving door patient.”
Mohamed Abdi - Mary Seacole House Service User

Over the years we have focussed on highlighting the cultural barriers minority communities face and seen the huge demand for language support when trying to access services. Services struggle to engage with our members due to the shortage in quality interpretation, they are forced to use ad hoc interpreters which leads to a disruption in the continuity of care. We help to reduce the costs and high demand placed on public services by sharing our expertise. Many of our staff and volunteers are multilingual, over the years they have helped our service users to understand ‘informally with translating’ important information, in turn we have encouraged and assisted them in becoming qualified interpreters. Our staff and volunteers are currently supporting individuals with translation in over 27 different languages. More recently we have been successful in developing a multilingual booklet which translates information about the advocacy support we offer into 12 different languages, breaking barriers for those who need that vital support.

 

As a small charity, our volunteers also help to increase our capacity to support more people. Additionally, we offer minoritised communities an opportunity to connect with others through therapeutic activities and learning including english conversational sessions. These activities help with social integration, building a stronger, more unified society for all.  Many of our diverse staff and volunteers are also members of the community we serve; they are able to access a variety of training opportunities which they then take back into the community to teach others. Our activities are community led, we hire local sessional workers to share their skills with our service users, which in turn enables them to gain hands on experience, increasing their confidence and employability.  Our multilingual staff and volunteers translate important information on public health campaigns so that those messages can be spread throughout the communities, informing them on how to access services available, ensuring that they are staying healthy physically, as well as mentally. This adds social value as the paid equivalent for our volunteers’ support with these tasks is immeasurable.

“Since I moved to the UK on 12/2015, I had that feeling that I am lost. Being in a place without friends and family is too hard. Can’t find words to explain my relation with MSH, which converted from being volunteering to charity to become like being surrounded by my family. Emotional support I got from MSH is unexplainable, even the personal support. Thanks MSH for being in my life.” 

Mary Seacole House Volunteer

“Since I moved to the UK on 12/2015, I had that feeling that I am lost. Being in a place without friends and family is too hard. Can’t find words to explain my relation with MSH, which converted from being volunteering to charity to become like being surrounded by my family.
Emotional support I got from MSH is unexplainable, even the personal support. Thanks MSH for being in my life.” 
Mary Seacole House Volunteer

The communities we support have also described a lack of cultural sensitivity leading them to feel mistrust and apprehension when sharing personal details with outside agencies, we create partnerships and assist them in carrying out tasks that they would otherwise struggle to complete. We mitigate the wider impacts of mental ill health by helping to guide service users through the difficult housing and benefits systems in place, improving the individuals understanding of entitlements, referring them to the relevant agencies and supporting throughout. We also support parents and carers and, in many cases, prevent family breakdowns/children from entering the social care system. Our advocacy team are actively engaged in the development of the Mental Health Act in terms of culturally appropriate advocacy. We support those in a crisis experiencing episodes of mental ill health. We ensure that they have the relevant risk assessments and safeguards in place, verifying that medications are prescribed correctly and liaising with psychiatrists on how to best support individuals, minimizing the risk of hospitalization and preventing further costs to the NHS. We empower individuals to represent their own views and interests by promoting self-advocacy improving the level of choice, influence and control they have over events in their lives. It is often the support we offer outside of the conventional model of mental health that is so vital to the recovery of our service users.

Of late we have been working with The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) training community research champions who will engage with our diverse communities providing further insight into their views, creating a better understanding of the barriers faced and enhancing participation.

Here is one of our amazing volunteers Celine giving her feedback.

With our partnership working we look forward to improving the health outcomes of diverse communities for many years to come. If you would like to work with us, please get in touch.

 

MSH Annual Report 2022-23