Mental Health Awareness week is a perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on some of the South West based social enterprises we work with that support people with poor mental health.
Mental health problems are probably more common than you might think; according to leading mental health charity Mind, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
And in fact, people living in the South West of England are the most likely to have experienced a common mental health problem in the last week (e.g. anxiety and depression) than any other region in the UK.
A 2017 NHS Patient survey showed that 9.5-10.8% of adults in Cornwall and 10.8-12.3% of adults in Devon say they have a mental health issue with nearly 9% of the population in this region diagnosed with depression by their general practice. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly also have one of the highest rates of suicide (14.5 per 100,000 persons) when compared to England (9.6 per 100,000 persons).
Poor mental health has a wide range of causes and often a combination of factors that can include abuse, poverty, bereavement, stress, discrimination, unemployment, bullying, health conditions, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse and domestic violence. Social factors such as living in stable accommodation, being employed and having family, friends or community support are key to good mental health.
Sadly though, less than 25% of people with a diagnosed mental illness will actually receive treatment for it. This leaves a staggering number of people with mental health problems unable to access the support they need. Thankfully there are thousands of social enterprises and charities across the UK who are helping to plug this gap by providing additional mental health support to those in need.
Resonance is proud to have invested in and working with - through its South West Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund and Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund - a number of social enterprises supporting people with mental health issues in the South West.
To date across the South West region the two funds have invested over £5 million, into 46 social enterprises in the region. Many of these social enterprises provide vital mental health support services in the South West. We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate some of their outstanding work and revisit how they are having to adapt the services they off as a result of COVID-19.
Trevi House in Devon helps mothers care for their children whilst going through a trauma-informed program to overcome addiction. Chief Executive Officer Hannah Shead:
“Trevi supports women (and some children) with a range of mental health issues, through our two residential services and our community-based Sunflower Women’s Centre in Plymouth.
Many of the mental health issues that we see are the result of unresolved trauma and are further compounded by isolation and other factors such as poverty / abusive relationships. We have found that providing a safe space in which women can begin their recovery journey, alongside other women with similar experiences, can be incredibly powerful.
It’s really positive to see that people are speaking out more openly around this subject, however there is still a degree of taboo, especially for mothers, who may fear judgment or the stigma of a label.
I hope that one day it will be as acceptable to discuss mental health as it is physical health, and that people will be able to ask for help with barriers.”
The Devon Clinic
The Devon Clinic CIC provides alternative healthcare to combat the rising number of mental health issues in the South West. Chris Fleet, Director:
“The Devon Clinic CIC provides a range of different talking and physical therapies. We believe that by offering a combination of physical and talking therapy, we can provide better support with the mind-body connection.
We offer a one-to-one, couples, family and peer talking therapies as well as a range of manual therapies ranging from food intolerance testing through to acupuncture.
We aim to provide compassionate and empathetic understanding and treatment of both mental and physical health as we believe they are both intrinsically linked.
Under current legislation due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer physical therapies but can still provide, under Government guidelines, 1-2-1 talking therapy.
Our mission is to ensure that everyone should have access to affordable complementary therapies. Everyone’s mental wellbeing is important, and access to regular support should be available for all.
We believe early intervention and ongoing support is vital for those with mental health problems to enable them to manage their thoughts and feelings in a constructive non-detrimental way.”
Action To Prevent Suicide
Action To Prevent Suicide breaks stigma surrounding mental health through training people to recognize those at risk. Chukumeka Maxwell, Founder CEO of Action To Prevent Suicide CIC explains how his charity supports people experiencing poor mental health:
“Now more than ever we need to focus on Mental Health and wellbeing at a national and community level. Covid 19 has stopped our normal business of face to face suicide awareness training and has created a new world of Zooming online. Now more than ever we have had to broaden our remit to focus on mental health and grief, utilising this time to collaborate and partner with a range of organisations as response. Our organisation is now a part of the foundational response to the “new normal” and all that it entails.
“We have created the ‘Action to Prevent Suicide Support Service’ which works online and will, once things change, offer face to face services to people. By the end of May, we will be launching our Map of Hope to enable people to talk about their suicide prevention training.
“I am also delighted that Action To Prevent Suicide CIC will become a partner organisation to Ubuntu Counselling services offering Counselling to people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic Communities. The plan is to expand this across the South West. We have also continued our charity application to become a CIO so that in the future, we hope to support people with mental health difficulties and thoughts of suicide. Our online website continues to support people bereaved by suicide offering them a way to create a memorial and providing information to support their own mental health.
“Recently we have contributed suicide prevention information towards a project launched in response to COVID19 for frontline NHS, health and social care staff, focusing on their mental health and wellbeing.”
For more information about investing in our SITR Funds click here.
For more information about our Health & Wellbeing Fund click here.
If you’re a social enterprise based in the South West and are looking for investment click here.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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