Saturday, 24 November 2007

First outreach service for mental health support starts in Dulverton

AN outreach service to help people access healthy lifestyles and choices of mental health support is being started in Dulverton.
The first session takes place in Dulverton Town Hall from 12 noon to 2 pm on Thursday, November 29, and will continue weekly thereafter.
It is part of the West Somerset Inclusion Project, run by Mind in Taunton and West Somerset, which is encouraging people to participate in and connect with their local communities.
Mind TWS, which is based in Minehead, is dedicated to providing specialised services for older people living in West Somerset who may be experiencing mental ill health or emotional distress through loneliness, bereavement, or isolation.
The Minehead office is a drop-in centre anybody who needs support and advice, and Dulverton is the first outreach service to be established.
Mind staff will attend the outreach service to offer information and advice on all issues of mental and emotional health, and to listen to what people in the area say they want.
Inclusion project manager Deborah Melmoth said: “In Somerset, one-in-three people suffers psychological distress at any one time, compared to one-in-seven nationally, but there is a great variation in the provision of health and social care services to people living in rural areas, such as Dulverton.
“Overall, they are less likely to receive services comparable to that which is offered in towns.
“Our work is therefore important because we campaign for the rights of people who experience mental or emotional distress to be treated with respect, to be given access to services and opportunities in the community, and to have control over the care and treatment they receive, wherever they live.”
Future services could also include drop-in support groups, and a small team to work with people on a one-to-one basis to help them rebuild confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.
Workshops to raise awareness of mental health issues are also under consideration for the wider community.
Mind TWS has won Big Lottery funding to run the inclusion project in West Somerset for five years.
A telephone advice service is also available on 01643 708765.

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