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Mental Health Awareness Week: The Power of Positive Behaviour Support

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we’ve been talking about the importance of communication for good mental health. When it comes to living with a learning disability or autism, communicating with people can be challenging for some. Our Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Team has been working hard to share their knowledge to help people with a learning disability or autism communicate their needs with their teams. Here they share how it has a positive impact on their mental health.

Tammy Perchard and Gavin Eyre share their knowledge about Positive Behaviour Support and how it can help people to feel happier, more connected, and in control.

What is PBS and why is it important?

Positive Behaviour Support is an evidence-based approach which helps people we support enjoy a better quality of life. Research tells us that people are much less likely to display behaviours of concern when they are happily engaged in doing the things they like, with people they like, when they like to do them.

PBS is about working with people, to deliver person-centred active support, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and enabling people to live the life they choose. We take time to understand what people are trying to communicate via their behaviours to allow us to apply focussed strategies to help us all communicate more positively.

What are the benefits for people's mental health?

PBS is recommended for people who display (or are at risk of displaying) challenging behaviour. It’s suitable for people with mild to severe learning disabilities and or mental health needs, as the strategies used are always tailored to the person.

There is a wealth of evidence that demonstrates that the lives of people with mental health needs is greatly improved when they are supported using a PBS approach.

What might happen without positive behaviour support?

If we didn’t have PBS, our teams may struggle to understand why people we support interact and engage in challenging behaviour. This could lead to people being misunderstood or their needs not being effectively met. This in turn, could reduce quality of life for the individual, impact on their health and wellbeing, and may lead to placement break down. That’s why we’re so keen on sharing our knowledge and expertise with as many people as possible.

What's your biggest success story so far? 

It’s hard to pick just one. I think as an organisation, the growth of the PBS team and the support structure we currently have in place, has been a real success.

Through a difficult year where everyone’s mental health has been tested, we’ve seen new behaviours emerging where there were previously no problems. We’re proud that we’ve been able to support teams with PBS across all our areas. This has had a significant impact on improving mental health and wellbeing, and has helped people to understand and cope better with all the changes they have faced this year.

Join the team

If you’d like to find out more about the impact of Positive Behaviour Support, read James’ blog.

Or, if you’d like to join part of a growing team and work alongside teams who put the people they support first, browse our current job opportunities.