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Published: March 21, 2020 | Updated: March 22, 2020

Don’t despair, help is at hand: Dorset Mind to introduce new range of mental health support

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Mental health charity Dorset Mind is to replace its existing services with a new range of support in response to the coronavirus crisis.

It aims to support people with mental health problems at work, and at home, by offering a range of group and one-to-one options online or by phone.

The charity says that in the current ‘unprecedented times’ support for people’s mental health has never been so important.

It points out that people who struggle with their mental health are likely to feel even more isolated and extremely anxious.

Dorset Mind’s existing services have now been replaced by telephone or video meetings until further notice.

The measures include:

  • Moving wellbeing groups online.
  • Delivering training by Webinar.
  • Carrying out other meetings online by video conferencing.

1-2-1 support such as mentoring, befriending and counselling will also be conducted by telephone and video.

The charity stresses that anyone currently receiving assistance will continue to receive that help but just in a different way.

New support options are also being rapidly developed, ready to offer to more and more people from next week.

Dorset Mind says that it recognises that with so many people experiencing uncertain times, isolation, loss of income and contact with friends and family, it has a key role to play in helping them manage their mental health and wellbeing.

Marianne Storey, Chief Executive, pictured left, said: “We all find ourselves in extremely difficult times – never before have we encountered such a challenge to offering support to so many people.

“I am however, very encouraged to see the charity adapt so quickly and employ new technology and solutions in order to continue to support people.

“One in four people will be diagnosed in their lifetime with a mental health problem.

“Unfortunately, people with mental health difficulties do often feel isolated – this is nothing new.

“But this situation is new and will undoubtedly affect all members of the public.

“We advise them to help keep positive by following the Five Ways to Wellbeing* evidence-based actions that will keep themselves mentally as well as physically strong at home over the coming weeks.

“We will be publishing a lot of information and support on our website and through our social media channels in the coming days and weeks so that people do not feel alone and have hints and tips on how to look after their mental health whilst being distanced from work, friends and family.”

Dorset Mind will contact its existing participants individually to let them know of the latest developments and explain the alternative options that have been put in place to continue supporting them.

From Monday, March 23, anyone can email the charity if they need support at adultwellbeingservices@dorsetmind.uk

If people need urgent or crisis support with their mental health, they should call the Samaritans on 116 123 or NHS 111.

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, said: “At this deeply distressing time, I am comforted to see that Dorset Mind is finding novel ways to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Feelings of isolation will increase in the coming weeks, so it is important that we reach those who need the most support.

“In addition to providing support online or by phone, it is also vital that we encourage people to engage in activities that keep them physically and mentally well.

“I am pleased to see that advice being reinforced by Dorset Mind.”

The charity will continue to provide updates on its website homepage at dorsetmind.uk and across its social media channels.

*Five Ways to Wellbeing: Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most our of life. Find out more here: https://dorsetmind.uk/help-and-support/self-care-resources/five-ways-to-wellbeing/