Black Thrive launches CAPSA service

Black Thrive Lambeth hosted a launch event (March 31) to introduce and showcase its highly anticipated, Culturally Appropriate Peer Support & Advocacy (CAPSA) service that aims to improve the mental wellbeing and recovery journeys of Black communities in Lambeth. The service comes into being after over a year of planning and development working with community members to co- design Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance’s new offering in culturally appropriate care.

The structure of CAPSA will include peer support workers who will be delivering one-to-one support to Lambeth residents in the community and inpatient settings. Peer support workers will be given access to supervision from the CAPSA Service Manager and peer group meetings will be held to fully support workers to undertake their roles. A key element of the peer support workers roles is to ensure that Black service users and their families feel supported and empowered when using services. CAPSA advocates will also be trained to work alongside community members and service users to advocate on their behalf to ensure their views, wishes and needs are taken into account.

Community is at the heart of CAPSA service – it was co-designed, and we have created a collaborative space where professional expertise and lived experience are valued equally. We intend for everyone involved to feel empowered and able to bring their whole self to the discussions.

The launch event itself mirrored the culturally appropriate style in which the service has been designed throughout, beginning with comical opinion-splitting cultural debates that had attendees engaged immediately, voting on topics related to popular food, music and historical icon preferences. Leading shortly after into the CAPSA journey from inception through development and finishing with the clear service outline and intentions. In attendance were various groups including service commissioners, leaders, and staff, coming together with community allies and service users. A large part of the event was discussion based, which meant that each of these groups of trusted partners fed back ways in which CAPSA can make meaningful and long-lasting change.

Our intention was to design a service that acknowledges the impact of anti-Black racism on our wellbeing, looking also at how structural inequality can negatively impact our physical and mental health. By using consistent feedback from our trusted partners and amplifying the voice of the community, CAPSA seeks to provide support that will enable Black communities in Lambeth to flourish.

Daniel Danjuma, CAPSA Peer Support Worker

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