EPIC Assist Charity Scotland has worked with a number of organisations across the UK and abroad to deliver mental health workshops.
We know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mental health. Every organisation is different and each training is personalised to your needs and services, including those of marginalised communities, businesses, and more.
In the past, we have worked with and presented workshops to refugees and asylum seekers, primary and high school students, and the Traveller, Roma, and Gypsy communities in the UK and abroad.
In 2023, EPIC Assist and Ovacome – together with the Showman’s Mental Health Awareness Charity (SMHA) – came together to present a series of workshops surrounding ovarian cancer awareness in the Showman community.
In the UK alone around 7500 people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer a year, with approximately 4100 deaths attributed annually to the disease. Yet with early diagnosis, more than nine out of ten patients will survive five or more years.
However, due to testing limitations, regular ovarian screening is not yet available in the UK, making awareness and education around the signs and symptoms all the more vital.
Ovacome is the UK’s national ovarian cancer support charity, with over 4000 members and providing support to around 18,000 people a year. The charity not only assists those with a diagnosis – or those at risk of a diagnosis – but also their friends and families that wish to support them through the trying times ahead. Along with this, they also provide resources and information for healthcare professionals on supporting patients from a medical standpoint.
With the partnership with SMHA and Ovacome, EPIC Assist wants to create a safe and inclusive environment where people in the Showman community can learn about the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer and develop the confidence and empowerment to advocate for themselves in a medical setting.
The Showmen’s Ovacome project
EPIC have collaborated with Ovacome – The Ovarian Cancer Support Charity and The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity to deliver a series of Ovarian Cancer Awareness projects to the Showmen, Fairground community. This project was co-designed by showmen/women and non-binary individuals from Future 4 Fairgrounds Fair Scotland in a three-part consultation process, to best meet the needs of the community.
EPIC delivered a workshop on ovarian cancer awareness and mental health support on the 28th of February at 7pm. The workshop was the first step in the delivery of a multi-phase project that will raise awareness and educate the community on the treatments, symptoms, and impact of an ovarian cancer diagnosis on mental health.
- Production of materials: leaflet (adapted for a showmen audience), distributed: 1) physically UK-wide by Sheldon Chadwick/Candace Thomas during PhD research and posted to yards; and 2) online through social media/newsletters/ on website.
- Social media campaign: 12 -month campaign on partnership orgs social media, breaking down the aforementioned “suggested service” features above. Including a series of informational videos produced by the Showmen’s Theatre Company.
- Workshop: an awareness workshop on the 28th of February 2023 at 7pm to launch the partnership.
- Showmen’s cancer support forum: a forum on the SMHAC’s website that will have information and awareness, will include the aforementioned videos and be a place to converse, sharing support.
Aspirations for the future: cancer champions, phone line, service to find private consultations.
You can find out more about Ovacome on their website or you can call their general enquires hotline on 0207 299 6654.
The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity was founded and run by people from the showmen and fairground community. Our aim is to break the stigma around mental health in our community, and to provide support to those of us struggling with mental health issues.
EPIC has designed and delivered a series of bespoke mental health workshops for the Showmen, Fairground community. Which are held on a monthly basis. In partnership with The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity, workshops are co-led by EPIC’s Program Coordinator Candace Thomas and trustees of their charity. Themes from past workshops include:
- Ovacome Cancer Charity – February 2023
- Charity birthday celebration, positive mental health – January 2023
- Women’s mental health – October 2022
- Mental health in the fair ground industry – September 2022
- Suicide awareness and prevention – August 2022
- Psychological first aid – July 2022
- Suicide awareness and prevention – May 2022
- Mentally healthy workplaces – April 2022
- Mental health in the fair ground industry – September 2021
EPIC designed and delivered the first Mental Health Liaison Officer training for the The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity in partnership with The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain. The MHLO role was designed by EPIC to prepare the MHLO in supporting community members in crisis. It is a sign posting position to ensure Showmen have fast and effective access to mental health services The new MHLO will learn a simple step-by-step process to help someone seeking the charity’s services. The full day training program covered topics like:
- Mental health awareness in the fairground industry: in this session, tailored to the Showmen/women demographic: MLHO will learn more about Mental Health, the importance of mental health awareness, common mental health conditions, associated behaviours and how storytelling can be used to promote empathy. This session also includes community videos and activities.
- MHLO roles and responsibilities: this session focuses on the role of MLHOs, and the responsibilities associated with role (they dos and don’ts). Including a step-by-step guide of how to perform these responsibilities.
- Psychological first aid: in this session, delivered by EPIC Australia’s Mental Health Coordinator Grant Thompson, MHLO will learn how to effectively support someone during a mental health crisis. They will learn how people react to stress in different ways, who/when someone needs psychological first aid and how to deliver each step: 1. safety, 2. calm, 3. connectedness, 4. self-efficiency and group-efficiency, and 5. hope.
- Suicide awareness and prevention: in this session MHLO will learn about suicidal behaviours, how to have suicidal conversations, understanding suicide statistically and sociologically; to reduce myths and stigmas surrounding death by suicide. In order to better understand how to implement prevention and protective strategies.
- Managing difficult behaviour: this session will equip MHLO with a skill set, which will help them understand; why someone may be behaving “badly” and how to manage this person in a way that is safe and respectful of everyone.
- GDPR and safeguarding: MHLO will be given direction on how to implement data protection (when to discard information or make sure information is: used fairly, lawfully, and transparently), whilst following the step-by-step responsibilities of the role. This session will also cover essential safe-guarding practices (measures taken to protect the health, well-being, and human rights of individuals – especially young children and vulnerable adults).
EPIC Assist Australia’s Grant Thompson participated as a guest presenter, delivering on suicide awareness and psychological first aid.
No More Lost Souls is a Highland campaign group highlighting the need for better mental health provision in Wick and Caithness.
EPIC designed and delivered an interactive online Mental Health Awareness Workshop in partnership with peer support group No More Lost Souls. EPIC designed a workshop based around the specific needs and culture of the community. To support communities in Wick and Caithness in creating a safe place to learn and discuss mental health. Highlighting the importance of empathy and care to erase stigmas and prejudice around seeking mental health services. Facilitating a workshop that was community inspired and most importantly community-led.