The mental health of our nation is in jeopardy now more so than it has been since perhaps the second world war. The pandemic that has thrown life as we know it into disarray has forced us to override our instinctive human behaviour of seeking comfort from others in forms of touch and connection with many of our close family members. It has created fear at the prospect of close physical proximity in many and a whole swathe of the population has become almost totally isolated. Children have been deprived of normal healthy human interaction with their peers and have lost a great deal of their schooling over the past year.
We all hope that the vaccine rollout will help us get back to a more normal life in the not-too-distant future. As a mental health charity, throughout 2020 we have been working hard to maintain a service to all our clients. We have also been focussing on growing the service provision in response to demand and to date we have created another 30 sessions per week so far. We continue to strive to meet demand across all our services, to get the waiting time down and to offer a helpful, high standard of appropriate therapeutic support to all our service users, from the very young to the more senior clients. In preparation for this further growth, we have also been working hard to procure additional funding to continue to offer our services at a lower cost to those who are unable to cover the full fee. What payment is agreed is, as always, done on the basis of trust; we have found that people try their best to pay what they are able and we are pleased to be able to fund the difference, whatever that is, so we can continue to offer as many as we can affordable support.
Our latest initiative is the launch of a Sunday morning service for children and young people. Subject to restrictions being lifted we will be piloting this service from mid-March. Many young people are in need of mental health support, now more that before and we think it is important that we respond to this in any way we can. The service will offer sessions from 10am until 1pm. We already offer a short-term young people’s service on a Saturday however the Sunday service will be offering the option of a longer-term piece of work for those who need a more protracted intervention. Although we are not able to offer this service for free, we are able to offer the sessions at a subsidised lower cost rate for those who need it.