Life is rarely simple. We are aware that our clients may be facing a whole range of challenges in their life that impact on their wellbeing and can be a barrier to engaging with our emotional support and counselling services. Our Support & Advocacy Service enables us to work alongside the men we support to create bespoke holistic plans to do what we can to resolve these issues. These plans are supported by the close working relationships we have developed with a range of statutory and voluntary sector agencies. The people we support have varied needs and aspirations and it is important to us that we work together to meet them.
Identifying Your Needs and Aspirations
When we first meet you, during the assessment process, we will take the time to explore any unmet needs and – more widely – what you want to change in your life. These needs might include financial concerns, debt, housing issues, physical and mental health concerns, social isolation and/or concerns around employment, education or training.
Keeping the conversation going
At First Step we understand that life can throw curve balls to us at any time. If your needs change, your counsellor or emotional support worker will proactively encourage you to check in with our Support & Advocacy service to revisit your plan and make adjustments. Equally, you are welcome to talk to your counsellor or a member of staff at any time so that we can make sure the plan really does meet your current needs and enables you to meet any new challenges that arise.
Examples of the support we can offer
There is no one size fits all approach to supporting male survivors. However, the following list shares some of the things we have been able to support clients with to benefit their wellbeing. If there is something you need that is not on this list, please talk to us. We do our best to be flexible and build our support around people’s needs.
- Writing letters of support for GPs, housing applications and benefits reviews
- Supporting you to complete benefits applications (e.g. PIP)
- Supporting you to complete the ‘Capability for Work’ questionnaire and other health assessment forms
- Referring you to other agencies and services, including: IDVA (support around domestic violence), Junpier Lodge (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), Shelter and Mental Health Services
- Referring you for specialist legal advice
- Referring you to local foodbanks and other hardship support
- Supporting you with options around employment, education and/or training
- Connecting you with social support within your community (including crisis cafes)
- Accompanying you to a class that benefits your health and wellbeing (e.g. yoga, art, support groups etc)