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What We Do

CAPSA

"We are the ones that we have been waiting for."

June Jordan

poet, playwright and essayist

Who We Are

CAPSA is a partnership between Black Thrive Lambeth and the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance. This service has been designed by, with and for Black community members within Lambeth. Community, belonging and a shared sense of identity is at the centre of what we do.

Our service exists to improve the mental wellbeing and recovery journeys of people of African and/or Caribbean heritage in Lambeth.

Co-design is more than a process. It is a social movement focused on challenging and changing inequitable power structures. Designing with, not for people.
- Kelly Ann McKercher

What We Do

We support Black members of the Lambeth community with a range of mental health, social care and access needs through peer support and advocacy with a commitment to anti-racism.

  • Facilitating relationship-building
  • Offering listening & emotional support
  • Raising hope and motivation
  • Signposting individuals to activities/ services that can improve their physical health, alleviate loneliness, help with finances and much more!
  • Understanding that people will require more than one type of support

"Being authentic and turning up the volume on who you are, means that you talk about it all. It's a collective struggle and your struggle must be my struggle and my struggle must be yours."

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah

Activist

What is peer support?

Peer support is when a person uses their own experiences to support someone who shares similar experiences. People who have experienced challenges with their mental health can offer a level of understanding and practical support to help others to access services that work for them or activities that bring them joy. Peer support can help people to make real progress in their recovery. Our peer support workers all have lived experience with mental health issues and are able to help you on your journey to better mental health and wellbeing.

What is advocacy?

Advocates work with people who are accessing or wish to access mental health services to enable their voices to be heard. They work with members of the community to help them to explore their rights and options. They support people to access information that will help them to make informed decisions about their care. They can also offer moral support by contacting people on your behalf or accompanying people to appointments.

“…I never once believed what they wanted us to believe – that we as black people are inferior to whites”

Darcus Howe

Journalist, Activist and Publisher

What makes CAPSA different

CAPSA was designed by, with and for Black people, with community at the heart of our programme. Our service is for people of African and/or Caribbean heritage. We have created a collaborative space where professional expertise and lived experience are valued equally. We want everyone involved to feel empowered and able to bring their whole self to discussion. This is vital if we are to bring about changes in the system and improve Black communities’ experiences of accessing support for their mental wellbeing.

Why do we need a service that targets Black people?

We have intentionally designed a service that acknowledges the impact of anti-Black racism on our wellbeing. Structural inequality can negatively impact our physical and mental health. This service seeks to provide support that will enable Black communities in Lambeth to flourish.

How we keep ourselves accountable

We have spoken with many grassroot organisations within Lambeth and have developed a Trusted Partners Network. Our Trusted Partners will support the CAPSA service by providing service users with information, services and support they need on their recovery journeys. This may include activities that improve their physical health, housing advice or debt management. Our Trusted Partners will be expected to have an excellent understanding of the local and cultural context of our service users’ lives.

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

Michelle Obama

Former First Lady and Author

Our Values

Our values are based upon the following principles, we hope to empower Black communities to both realise and embrace their potential:

  • Humanity
  • Empathy
  • Healing
  • Respect
  • Togetherness

The Benefits of Peer Support and Advocacy

Peer support can have a positive impact on the mental health systems because peer support is based on empathy and mutual respect from one individual who has experienced mental health difficulties to another. Hierarchy is replaced by humanity; miscommunication is overridden by deeper understanding of what members of Black communities need to support their mental well-being.

Having a good understanding of culture to explore the underlying issues.

In addition to creating a service where people feel understood. We have also listened to service users and their carers who told us that having access to suitable education, training, employment, and volunteering opportunities would contribute significantly to feelings of stability and improved levels of wellbeing. Our CAPSA peer support workers will collaborate with service providers in Lambeth to enable Black service users to find meaningful training, volunteering, and employment opportunities.

Our Partners

To be referred to community and voluntary services for my community, who will understand the battles in society we have to face based on the colour of my skin.

Self Referrals

We are keen to reach as many Black people as possible in Lambeth. If you are interested in accessing the service or you think that someone in your network may benefit from our service, please email us: capsa@blackthrive.org.

To help speed up the process you can download the self-referral form. We know that not everyone will be able to answer every question, and that is okay. Please complete the form to the best of your ability.

 

Services Referrals

If one of your service users would benefit from getting involved with CAPSA. Please download the service referral form and email it to us: capsa@blackthrive.org

 

Blogs related to CAPSA

Our blog section features write ups, from our CAPSA team, community members, partners and people who use our service

Reports related to CAPSA