Better Lives Forum attend co-design meeting for new Hestia digital support project

A new Hestia project is being set up to support service users of Hestia's mental health services throughout Covid-19.  

These have been very challenging times for service users and staff; this project seeks to make best use of technology and virtual support. 

It is important that we co-design this with service users, so that we understand the barriers and struggles people are facing, and we work together to find solutions and ways to overcome them 

On 24th August, 3 staff members and 9 BLF members attended a zoom meeting and discussed potential ideas for the project. The group came up with these key points to take forward:

  • Language barriers  

BLF member Jenny* said:

“Language can be a real barrier, Hestia should design all how to guides, activities etc. with the needs of non-English speakers in mind”.

We could also consider running some activities designed to help people to learn English or another language 

  • Technology barriers  

We should consider access to technology devices for people in residential servicesBLF member Sarah* said:

Often people don’t have the IT skills to know how to use zoom etc.”

Hestia should create easy how-to guides, both written and in video format, for example how to do a video call for the first time. 

  • Virtual meeting barriers   

It was raised that a pre-meeting can be really helpful if someone hasn’t used a certain system before, to make sure they can participate when they join the main meeting. Also, running informal/fun activities initially so it’s not too nerve-wracking for service users to participate.  

Next steps   

  • Hestia will hold bi-monthly meetings for BLF members to attend with staff and continue to provide their views and design the project.

  • A workshop will be held to discuss people’s experiences, barriers and solutions in greater detail.
  • BLF members and service users can be involved in delivering the project on an ongoing basis depending on their area of interest.

This blog will be updated after each meeting. Check here for the projects progress!

If you are interested in getting involved or hearing more email Coproduction Manager, [email protected]