Mental health support plan for Spalding given cash lift by NHS

Coun Jack McLean of Community Mind Matters, Spalding.
Coun Jack McLean of Community Mind Matters, Spalding.
  • The whole community can benefit from Safe Places scheme for town, says Vanessa

A new scheme to set up a series of “safe places” for people with mental health issues in Spalding has received a £10,000 boost from the NHS.

The cash has been given to Community Mind Matters, a group for people with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Michael Morris and Sam Hill of Tonic Health, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Michael Morris and Sam Hill of Tonic Health, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Under the scheme, businesses in Spalding would be given free training in mental health matters so that it can become a “safe place” for people needing emergency mental health support.

Coun Jack McLean, South Holland District Council member for Spalding St John’s Ward and a supporter of Community Mind Matters, said: “The group has teamed up with Spalding’s Tonic Health charity to start a new ‘Safe Places’ scheme for the area.

“Firstly, the local business community will be invited to take part in free training to both expertly deal with mental health and also provide the same training to others in their organisation.

“The premises is then added to the list of local safe places which can be promoted through local media, on social media and through local medical centres. “People will be able to make use of the scheme when out and about with friends or family suffering with mental health conditions, or if they themselves are in need of support.

People will be able to make use of the scheme when out and about with friends or family suffering with mental health conditions, or if they themselves are in need of support

Coun Jack McLean, South Holland District Council and Community Mind Matters

“By the new year, we hope to see businesses across the town proudly labeling themselves as safe places with fully trained staff because the scheme will simply not work if people don’t know it exists.”

Martin Vokes of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have made a provisional offer to a number of projects and organisations across Lincolnshire as part of our Managed Care Network Programme and are currently undertaking due diligence to confirm funding through the Mental Health Promotion Fund.

“This aims to help adults of all ages who have experienced mental health problems to participate in a wide range of activities that will help them to recover and maintain as good a quality of life as possible.

“It also allows local people of all ages to play an active role in promoting good mental health for themselves and others.

“We recognise the valuable part many local groups and organisations play in helping to support people with mental health problems to enjoy a good quality of life and how they can often help prevent someone becoming unwell again in the future.

“Since the network launched in January 2012, Lincolnshire people have benefited from a wide range activities, such as social support and friendship groups, formal and informal learning, skills and qualifications and supported volunteering.

“This latest wave of £360,000 funding will see yet more exciting projects developed for people living across Lincolnshire and we look forward to announcing the full list in September.”

Community Mind Matters is the idea of Spalding mum-of-four Vanessa Browning who has experienced her own problems with depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Vanessa said: “I decided to set up the group with Coun Jack McLean last year as there was no help for me from the hospitals.

“We hold group sessions, running and walking days to help others with mental health problems to talk and get outside.

“It can be lonely time for people who have depression and anxiety problems, so this was one way of helping myself and others to talk about this stigma.

“I’m so happy that we are doing this Safe-Places scheme as because having safe spaces in Spalding for people is good and it will teach others how to cope with people going through mental health problems as well.”

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