We hear back from Yaran Northwest, a recipient of the large grants from the £52,000 package to address mental health challenges during lockdown we awarded from our Covid-19 Community Response Fund earlier in 2020.
We were really proud to help Yarran Northwest to support members of our Middle Eastern Community with culturally appropriate mental health support. Yaran NW are a bilingual team of community health workers, psychologists, therapists and community connectors who are specialists in working with Farsi/Iranian communities. They told us they had seen increasing pressures and rises in self-isolation, depression, anxiety, stress of lockdown, financial insecurity, bereavement and increases in substance abuse and domestic violence. They stated there was also an increased need to support people who have been affected directly due to COVID-19, backed up by studies that have shown UK residents of BAME backgrounds have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.
We Love MCR Charity was able to support Yaran NW to pivot to an online offer to support this community. They’ve been able to offer one to one therapy and also a clinical support group. People could also access community group support such as English classes or sessions on ‘How to live well in the UK’.
The support they’ve offered has been vital to the community. A service user supported by Yaran told them:
‘I feel more optimistic about my future and how to manage myself better during lockdown. The counselling service has been very helpful. It has helped me to adapt to life during this crisis, and I feel more optimistic about my job and supporting my family’
‘The therapy has helped me to work on changing myself. I feel worried about my family and my job. I have felt more supported and hopeful for the future. I feel like this is a place that can offer me support in my first language. I feel clearer about my rights to access NHS services.
Yaran NW have told us that going forward they are thinking of looking at a ‘blended approach’ to the service – keeping some online work and re-opening their centre. Yaran NW told us they would never have thought of working like this before pandemic – the team have worked so hard and are so committed.
We Love MCR Charity are proud to support Manchester’s Farsi–speaking community by giving Yarran NW the opportunity to work differently and flexibly.