Our organisational member Spokz People CIC has launched a new online platform to improve the mental health and wellbeing of disabled people and their families with the help of a Lottery grant.
Spokz People, which aims to enable more disabled people and their families to access disability-affirming psychological support, has teamed up with Disability Horizons, a disability lifestyle publication, to launch the Spokz People Wellbeing Community and Programme.
The platform enables disabled people and their families to work with a peer to improve their mental health and wellbeing. It includes information and tool kits on how to improve self-esteem, build resilience, find meaning in life and manage challenging situations being disabled brings.
There’s a forum, chat room, regular live events and Q&As, and videos from disabled people, including The Last Leg presenter Alex Brooker, disability advocate and Gogglebox star Simon Minty, and disabled influencer and co-founder of Disability Horizons Martyn Sibley.
Our member and Spokz People director, founder and therapist Mel Halacre said the platform aims to remove barriers to counselling for disabled people, including access to buildings and resources, and the cost of support.
Mel said: “I saw the need for something like this 10 years ago but we could never get the funding, so it’s great to get the Lottery grant and be able to launch the platform.
“It can be difficult for people to find therapists who really understand disability because it’s rarely included in our training, or only briefly. The platform offers a combination of therapeutic and peer support by people with lived experience.
“And for therapists it’s knowing they can suggest the site alongside their therapy work if they’re seeing a disabled client.
“Unfortunately a lot of practices still aren’t accessible, and disabled people often have the experience of being turned away without an onward suggestion. Being turned down for therapy multiple times is common and affects people's mental health further, so it’s also about offering disabled clients something else.”
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