Newly funded projects in 2023
NHS Charities Together – Innovative GP referral trial
For many people living in Wiltshire, accessing mental health services can be frustrating, with lengthy waiting times. Self-referring to a local private therapeutic counselling service can mean a wait of up to 12 months.
Wiltshire Mind has recently been awarded a two-year Community Partnership Grant from NHS Charities Together and RUHX for an innovative pilot project aimed at providing a direct referral route from selected county GP surgeries to free counselling for adults and young people – reducing the waiting time and providing equity of access for those seeking support.
The pilot project will offer therapeutic counselling support to those who face anxiety, stress, mild depression, worry, low confidence, anger or grief. Between 12 and 24 sessions will be provided by an experienced counsellor.
The grant will cover the cost of the trial for two years, and Wiltshire Mind will work closely with 2 GP surgeries in the county to develop and test the trial. The project aims to reduce the burden on the local NHS, and improvement access to mental health services in our community. The trial is expected to start just before Christmas 2022.
Wiltshire Mind’s Head of Service Delivery, Philippa Collins commented.
“We are delighted to receive the grant from NHS Charities Together and RUHX. With funding agreed for two years, we can work in partnership with NHS Primary care to make a huge difference to those who need support with their mental health, particularly for those people experiencing low mood, anxiety, depression or grief for example”.
Wiltshire Mind is an independent charity and relies on the generosity of the community to help raise funds to pay for services. The charity has tried to secure funding in recent years to provide a sustainable future for the 300 people they support every year with their mental health.
CEO Paul Mills explained
“Since the pandemic, we have seen a substantial drop in our fundraising income, so investing in new services to meet the increasing demand for mental health support across our county has been challenging. This grant enables a joined-up approach between our charity and GP surgeries locally, designed for those seeking support“.
Wiltshire Mind will be approaching a small number of GP surgeries over the next few months to participate in the trial, which is expected to help between 30 and 40 people over the next two years. If the trial is successful, it is hoped that a full county-wide referral service will be rolled-out across the county in 2024-25, subject to further funding.
Previously funded projects (up to 2022)
Mental Health Carers Group
Working in partnership with Carers Support Wiltshire we have set up a support group for Carers. This group is held in Devizes. The group runs monthly and features talks by professionals, providing advice to help with caring for someone with mental health issues. The group runs once a month on a Tuesday morning. Please call us on 01225 706532 for dates.
A Counselling Service for the Polish speaking community living in the Trowbridge Community Area has been set up. The project provides a Polish Counsellor to enable those with little spoken English to gain help. Polish Counselling takes place on a Wednesday evening in Trowbridge.
The Building Bridges Programme
Building Bridges is a partnership of organisations, led by Community First, that has come together to deliver the Building Better Opportunities Programme across Swindon and Wiltshire. The £3.9M local funding is part of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme, which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
What is the Building Bridges programme?
The Building Bridges programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in developing their skills, accessing education or moving towards working. Taking part in the programme is entirely voluntary and all of our advice and support is offered free of charge.
We work on a one-to-one basis to help people address the challenges and barriers they are facing, and by developing their own personalised plan help them achieve their goals at a pace they are comfortable with.
The programme is a partnership of local charities, voluntary groups and organisations who are experts at supporting and giving people the skills and confidence they need.
Each participant will have someone who works with them as a mentor, helping access support from across the partnership to help achieve their goals. These mentors can also work with family members, carers, key workers or other people supporting you if you give us permission – it is entirely up to you.
We understand that there are many factors which affect whether people feel ready to take the next step forward – so we also offer specialist help and support in a number of areas including developing physical and mental wellbeing, accessing debt and financial advice, transport and childcare.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Age UK Wiltshire/Health Education England
During 2019 we have worked on the above project providing mental health training to the ‘blue light’ and voluntary sector. This project has provided free training to staff in doctors surgeries, hospitals, community groups and charities. Many of which would otherwise not be able to access mental health training.
Other Completed Projects
Better Money Management Project, Wiltshire CCG/Wiltshire Council Carers Project, Time out for Carers, Forces In Mind Trust project help for Carers in the Armed Forces Community, Counselling for those at risk of re offending.