We've been delighted to hear from Oxford Health’s Early Intervention Service (Oxfordshire) that our charity support has made such a positive difference to both the physical and mental health of their clients over the last 12 months. 

The Oxford Health EIS teams assist young people and adults (aged 14-65 years) across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Through working alongside a client and their personal network (e.g. family, education provider, employer etc.) EIS staff endeavour to stop the progress of a mental health issue, helping each client to overcome their difficulties and pursue their individual goals.

To help achieve this in Oxfordshire, elements of the EIS support programme are delivered through physical health groups which focus on yoga sessions, sports activities, and gardening projects. Without these groups clients would tend to remain inactive at home, where their isolation could encourage greater reflection on negative thoughts that could lead to the further deterioration of their mental and physical health – ultimately resulting in the need for medical intervention.

“The groups have been a cornerstone of my recovery, giving me structure to my week and something to look forward to.”
“The groups are friendly and create a nice supportive environment. They help get you out of the house.”

                                                         

The Oxford Health Charity team have been particularly pleased to support the continuation of these groups for which the Oxfordshire EIS staff have no ongoing budget. Over the course of the last year, our funding has provided for the venue hire and delivery of regular yoga sessions, as well as for the purchase of a range of new rugby, cricket and hockey equipment. Our funds have also enabled the gardening group to obtain new resources, including a raised wooden planter which has already been sown with radishes and peas!

                           

Explaining more about the positive impact these groups have on their service users, EIS Physical Health and Wellbeing Worker, Danielle Godwin, commented…:

“…these groups have really helped them to connect with other people who have had similar experiences to them which has made them feel less isolated. They have also noticed an improvement not just in their physical health but also in their mental wellbeing and a reduction in psychotic symptoms.”

She also shared some further client feedback…:

“The groups are a good place to have someone check in with you that's not in a clinical setting.”
“I feel I have improved each week I've attended.”

The charity team were thrilled to hear that our funds have had such a significant impact on the mental and physical health of EIS service users in Oxfordshire and, as Danielle noted, they’re not the only ones who’ve found these groups beneficial!:

“Staff have also reported that their mental wellbeing is improved when they attend groups with clients.”

We look forward to receiving further updates about these EIS physical health groups – and, in particular, to seeing the ‘fruits of the gardening group’s labours’!

If you would like to make a donation in support of the EIS teams, or any of our charity appeals or Oxford Health services, please visit our donation web page here.

The EIS booklet, ‘What is Psychosis?’ provides valuable information for those experiencing significant stress or worrying changes in their mental wellbeing for the first time. It can be found here

For anyone concerned about the mental wellbeing of a friend or family member, the EIS web page ‘Are They OK?’ also offers useful advice: Are They OK? 

For more details about the Oxford Health Early Intervention Service, please visit their web page here