In early February 2017, BasicNeeds US partners, Southwest Solutions with support from the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, hosted BasicNeeds founder Chris Underhill to lead a training on Animation techniques in Southwest Detroit.
Approximately 50 consumers and mental health providers from across the city came together to learn about and practice community animation techniques and begin a group process of identifying community needs. The BasicNeeds US team were excited to welcome a leadership team from Neighborhood Service Organization who are joining as a second local partner. During the two-day training, participants learned simple development tools for energizing and empowering groups and problem-solving through role-plays.
On day 2 the group used these techniques to engage in discussions about the experience of living with mental illness in Southwest Detroit and to identify community needs. Ideas and feedback gathered from this event will supplement a more formal community needs assessment being conducted by the BasicNeeds Detroit team. Participants were very excited to work together and many emerged as leaders, finding “voice” sometimes for the first time. A community wide share-out of the results is planned for late April 2017 with a focus on strengthening self-help groups and improving access to services for the community.
For more information on the BNUS programme, click here.