Together We Talk
People struggling with mental health issues on the west coast of Cumbria now have somewhere to go for support following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria last year.
Together We CIC, a not for profit organisation, which provides mental and physical health support for people of all ages, has received £60,000 from United Utilities and Sellafield Ltd towards the Together We Talk project, which will provide one-to-one and group counselling as well as family support services.
The announcement coincides with the national Time to Talk day, held on 6th February, which encourages people to talk about mental health.
The funding, which was distributed via Cumbria Community Foundation, has come at a critical time when demand for support in this area continues to grow as statutory mental health services are affected by cuts and are stretched to capacity.
Mental health is not the taboo subject it once was, but the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition continues to rise. 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime, with 1 in 6 adults being diagnosed with a mental health problem each year. West Cumbria also has a higher number of people admitted to hospital following intentional self-harm than the national average. The problems are particularly acute in Copeland, which has the highest suicide rate and the second highest number of A&E admissions for mental health conditions in the county.
Janine Ward, Director, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering evidence-based interventions with qualified, insured and supervised staff. We have good connections across the region and will have a base in both Workington and Whitehaven. Our aim is to empower people to take control over their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
“The team will be made up of counselling, CBT, mental health practitioners and support workers to enable a full service with a range of interventions available. Access to our service can be via self or professional referral by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 01900 66375.”
Louise Beardmore, Customer Services and People Director at United Utilities, said: “Mental Health provision is such an important area that we’ve been working hard over recent years to break down barriers and to make it easier for our own employees to access the help and support they might need one day.
“We are committed to supporting the wider communities where we work and that’s why I’m so pleased to help fund this new scheme. With our call centre at Whitehaven and our new water supplies project, we are very much a part of the fabric of life in West Cumbria.”
Gary McKeating, Head of Community and Development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “The importance of the Together We Talk project cannot be understated. I am delighted that the project has been formed from the ashes of its predecessor and that Sellafield Ltd, along with United Utilities and the Cumbria Community Foundation are able to support it. The scheme will provide much needed mental health support and guidance to those in our area who need it most.
“Whilst mental health is a topic people are now more willing to talk about, it is important that they can do so with trained workers, who can help people in times of difficulty. Our funding makes this a reality.”
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “Mental health issues can affect people from all walks of life. The Foundation supports local projects that provide a lifeline for people with nowhere else to turn, whether they are recovering from trauma, addiction or mental breakdown, or coping daily with stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness.
“Each year, we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Cumbria, but it has become noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. Following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria, we have had long discussions with other providers in the county and made the decision to set up the mental health fundraising appeal, which will provide grants to projects across West Cumbria: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/westcumbriamentalhealth”
A referral form with more information about Together We services is available at www.togetherwe.co.uk.