Not surprisingly, almost half of the UK’s population have felt anxious or worried recently, which increases to 64% in people with pre-existing mental health conditions. Loneliness and isolation of lockdown has largely contributed to this and local charity Dorset Mind believe that they have a range of support that can help people through this challenging time… But this requires extensive funding.
Through the pandemic, Dorset Mind has continued to support Dorset Residents who are vulnerable or at risk of developing mental health illness because of COVID-19. Delivery of their face-to-face support moved online or by phone – a move that saw referrals for support increase by more than 80%.
Dorset Mind’s Adult Services offer 1-2-1 and group support and interventions countywide. Support includes: active monitoring (CBT style coaching), counselling, mentoring, befriending, peer-based groups and alternative social prescriptions. These all aim to empower people to gain confidence and improve their wellbeing.
“…during the COVID-19 lockdown the online meetings have proved vital to my mental wellbeing as I live alone…”
These services are available to everyone, but the charity also offers targeted support to minorities and communities at risk – who face considerable stigma – such as BAME and LGBT+, people who live with eating disorders, carers and young people.
Young people need additional support to stop mental health conditions worsening during lockdowns. Early intervention is key. The charity works closely with schools countywide under their ‘Dorset Mind Your Head’ umbrella to help students, staff and parents. Support includes 1-2-1 counselling, a wellbeing check-in service and wellbeing support groups.
“I’ve really missed being at school because I don’t get to see my friends… I’m anxious about going back but I have a really nice person from Dorset Mind I talk to every week about how I feel, and it helps me think that I’m going to be OK.”
Dorset Mind’s workplace wellbeing training programmes supports employees and employers of local businesses – with content tailored for home working and the current climate. Their expert training team is due to launch Mental Health First Aid Training Courses at the beginning of March. This internationally recognised course perfectly compliments their repertoire of mental health training courses, including ‘Stress, Anxiety and Burnout’ and ‘Courageous Conversations.’
Dorset Mind is an affiliate of the Mind network, but remains independent and responsible for their funding. All donations made to them enable the charity to provide support for people in Dorset’s better mental health.
– Make a donation to Dorset Mind’s vital work by texting ‘DORSETMIND3’ to 70460 to donate £3.
– Alternatively, find out more about the charity or volunteer for them by visiting their website dorsetmind.uk.