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Blog: Chris's Blog

07 March 2017

2016 in Review: Business as usual for core services

Your Voice Avocacy

2016 has continued a period of consolidation for us and for several of our services it has been business as usual.

Advocacy – We continue to provide vital advocacy support to people who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and we have supported Cumbria in becoming one of the first areas in the country to introduce full auto-referral to an advocacy service for people who have been sectioned. This has led to us managing an increase in referrals from 450 to over 800 per annum over the previous year.

Our Children and Young Peoples Advocacy service, now in its fifth year, continues to provide school-based support to 11-18 year olds experiencing mental distress. Advocacy enables young people to have their voice heard, to find solutions to their situations and to access the services they are entitled too. In 2016 we supported over 120 young people in Carlisle and Eden.

We continue to provide valuable supported volunteering opportunities to people in recovery. We know that developing a mental health problem and having a time away from employment can present significant challenges when returning to the workplace. We provide supportive placements that enable people in recovery to take their first steps back into work or volunteering at their own pace and among peers who understand their situation. Last year we supported over 80 volunteers through our shops, office base and services.

-Chris Wood, Business Development Manager

By Chris Wood, 07 March 2017 – 0 comments

24 February 2017

2016 in Review: New Services

MindLine Cumbria

2016 has been a year when we have launched several new exciting services.

MindLine Cumbria, offering telephone, text and web based information, advice and emotional support for Cumbrian residents wanting to know more about mental health, find out how they can help someone they care for or simply get a listening ear. 5 months into the service and we are well on our way top reaching our targets of 3,000 calls per annum.

Alongside MindLine Cumbria we also launched what we hope will be the first of a set of crisis focused services. Connect aims to support people who are experiencing dual mental health and hardship crisis. We know debt, housing, employment, benefits issues and other hardship issues are the main reason for people developing a mental health crisis. Connect brings together key local advice partners, CAB / Law Centre / CASS alongside our skilled support workers to ensure people get access to the right advice and support at the earliest opportunity during a mental health crisis. This service is funded by The Big Lottery for the next 5 years.

By Chris Wood, 24 February 2017 – 0 comments

09 January 2017

2016 in Review: Suicide Prevention, Blue Light Training and Mates In Mind

2016 has been a standout year for our training team.

By December 2016 we had trained over 3,500 Cumbrian residents in Suicide Alertness and Suicide Prevention skills over the last 4 years. A major achievement. We are now fired up to keep the funding going for this programme to reach our ultimate goal of training 10,000 people. The end of 2016 also bought us news that at last suicide rates in Cumbria are beginning to fall, bucking the national trends and with the combined efforts of workers across several sectors we expect this trend to continue.

Alongside our general suicide prevention training we have also been commissioned by Cumbria Children’s Services to deliver self-harm and suicide awareness training for workers supporting children and young people. In an 8 month period we trained over 700 people.

Our general mental health training services have experienced unprecedented demand. We trained over 170 emergency services staff and managers at the start of the year in mental health in the workplace awareness as part of Mind’s Blue Light Programme. We have engaged with over 20 local employers in workplace wellbeing and have provided various bespoke mental health training to a further 40 Health, Social Care and Third Sector groups, from Cruise through to Environmental Health officers.

Perhaps the most exciting developments however in our training team has been our involvement in Cumbria’s Headstart programme, aimed at developing resilience in children and young people in 2 pilot areas of the county. As part of this we have developed two curriculum embedded mental health training packages. The key package, Mates in Mind, is a peer support programme aimed at equipping 14-15 year olds with an understanding of how to recognise mental health issues and how to practically support and signpost their friends. We have delivered this programme to over 2,000 young people in Carlisle and Barrow with excellent results. Though Cumbria County Council were unsuccessful in securing funding to take Headstart forward in 2017 the interest generated by the programme has been overwhelming and we expect to secure funding of our own on 2017 to develop our training, and general support for children and young people further.

- Chris Wood, Business Development Manager

By Chris Wood, 09 January 2017 – 0 comments

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