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Local mental health charity Dorset Mind has just announced its plans to adapt their current range of vital support for people and organisations in Dorset during the Covid-19 outbreak.

By offering a range of group and one-to-one support options online or by phone, the charity says it intends to continue supporting people with mental health problems whether they are at work or at home.

In the unprecedented times we are facing, never has support for people’s mental health been so important, says the charity. People who struggle with their mental health are likely to feel even more isolated and extremely anxious. Disruption to support options will be hugely unsettling and detrimental for people’s wellbeing.

Therefore, Dorset Mind’s existing services will be replaced by telephone or video meetings from this time until further notice. This includes moving  its wellbeing groups online, delivering its training by Webinar and carrying out its other meetings on-line by video conferencing. It also means offering its  1-2-1 support such as mentoring, befriending and counselling by telephone and video. Anyone currently receiving help from them will continue to receive that help, just in a different way, the charity said.

It also means that NEW support options are rapidly being developed ready to offer to more and more people from next week. ‘We recognise that with so many people experiencing uncertain times, isolation, loss of income and contact with friends and family, we have a key role to play in helping them manage their mental health and wellbeing. We are doing everything we can to design new services to help as many people as we can,’ said a spokesperson.

MIND Dorset

The charity will contact their existing participants individually to let them know of this development and to explain the alternative options that have put in place to continue supporting them. From Monday 23rd March anyone can email them if they need its support with their wellbeing adultwellbeingservices@dorsetmind.uk and the charity says it will do what it  can to help them. If people need urgent or crisis support with their mental health, they should call the Samaritans on 116 123 or NHS 111.

Dorset Mind’s Chief Executive, Marianne Storeycomments said: ‘We all find ourselves in extremely difficult times – never before have we encountered such a challenge to offering support to so many people. I am however, very encouraged to see the charity adapt so quickly and employ new technology and solutions in order to continue to support people.

‘One in four people will be diagnosed in their lifetime with a mental health problem. Unfortunately, people with mental health difficulties do often feel isolated – this is nothing new. But this situation is new and will undoubtedly affect all members of the public. We advise them to help keep positive by following the Five Ways to Wellbeing* evidence-based actions that will keep themselves mentally as well as physically strong at home over the coming weeks. We will be publishing a lot of information and support on our website and through our Social Media channels in the coming days and weeks so that people do not feel alone and have hints and tips on how to look after their mental health whilst being distanced from work, friends and family.’

Dorset Mind Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, Dr Andy Mayers, added: ‘At this deeply distressing time, I am comforted to see that Dorset Mind is finding novel ways to support the most vulnerable people in our community. Feelings of isolation will increase in the coming weeks, so it is important that we reach those who need the most support. In addition to providing support online or by phone, it is also vital that we encourage people to engage in activities that keep them physically and mentally well. I am pleased to see that advice being reinforced by Dorset Mind.’

The charity will continue to provide updates on their website homepage and across their social media channels.

For more information about Dorset Mind, or if you would like to keep updated with support being offered, see the charity’s website: dorsetmind.uk.

*Five Ways to Wellbeing: Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. Find out more here: https://dorsetmind.uk/help-and-support/self-care-resources/five-ways-to-wellbeing/

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