Sellafield invests £1.8m to transform community mental health support

A new partnership designed to revolutionise mental health provision in west Cumbria has been launched.

The West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership is part of a £1.8m investment by Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Multiplied (SIX) programme.

It will operate under the Transforming West Cumbria programme, led by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF.)

The announcement coincides with Blue Monday (17th January), thought to be the most depressing day of the year, to highlight the importance of communication and community in combatting mental health concerns.

The partnership aims to create a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to community mental health provision in Allerdale and Copeland.

It was launched in response to the closure of Mind West Cumbria in 2019 which left a void in community support for people experiencing mental health issues.

Sellafield stepped in to support a short-term solution, funding one-to-one and group support services. Working with the Foundation, the focus soon switched to creating a long-term sustainable model and the new partnership was born. It built on work already started by the Foundation to encourage mental health providers to work together while identifying and addressing gaps in provision. As well as providing much-needed funding, the partnership will support community organisations to improve their resilience, capability, and financial sustainability.

The partnership has launched a website https://wcmhp.org.uk/ which provides details of mental health and wellbeing support available in west Cumbria and allows users to choose the right provider for them. Four initial programmes have been established by the partnership, each led by a strategic partner.

They are:

Adult mental health, led by Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Delivery partners:

  • Together We
  • iCan
  • Healthy Hopes
  • Always Another Way
  • Mental Health North West
  • Mind in Furness
  • Cumbria Youth Alliance.

Services include: talking therapies; counselling; fitness and exercise support; drop-in support groups; alternative and complementary therapies and coping strategies; walking for wellness; and fun activity sessions.

Youth mental health, led by Cumbria Youth Alliance

Delivery partners:

  • Together We
  • Spiral
  • CADAS
  • Always Another Way
  • iCan Health and Fitness

Services include: talk support; bullying support; body image, gaming, gambling, and addiction support, support for LGBTQ community, health and fitness.

Financial wellbeing, led by Citizens Advice

Delivery partners:

  • Copeland Citizens Advice
  • Allerdale Citizens Advice

Services include: crisis response; and general financial advice and support.

Recovery College, led by Together We

Delivery partners:

  • Mental Health North West
  • Happy Mums
  • iCan Health & Fitness
  • Blue Jam
  • Always Another Way
  • Every Life Matters

Services include: courses and workshops to help people develop coping strategies and mental health symptom management. For more information, visit: https://ncrecoverycollege.org/

 

The partnership is also funding a suicide prevention project via Every Life Matters. Gary McKeating, head of community and development for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Poor mental health is an issue that can affect all of us. Ensuring high quality services are available for our workforce and our community is incredibly important to us. We’re fortunate to have such a diverse range of community-based support available in west Cumbria but provision was patchy and in need of co-ordination following the closure of Mind West Cumbria. That’s what the partnership is all about: building a strong platform so organisations can collaborate, develop their skills, and thrive in the long term. This will be a game-changer for mental health provision in west Cumbria.”

Annalee Holliday, senior grants, programmes, and communications officer for CCF, said: “The closure of Mind West Cumbria highlighted the fragility of organisations delivering such critical services. We were pleased to work with Sellafield to address this through the development of the West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership. The launch couldn’t be more timely as demand for support in west Cumbria continues to grow and statutory mental health services are stretched to capacity.”

Tamsin Beattie, West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership lead for Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “We’re delighted to be leading the adult mental health programme. The funding will allow us to deliver far more high quality support services to people in west Cumbria than we have ever had in the past. We’re aiming to support a minimum of 2,000 people over the three-year programme, although we expect we’ll be able to support many more. Together we’re determined to make a positive difference to the lives of as many people as we can.”

Website: https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/2022/01/17/sellafield-invests-1-8m-to-transform-community-mental-health-support/

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