Lancashire mental health charity adapts key services in face of Covid-19

Lancashire Mind have ensured that people across the county still have access to vital mental health and wellbeing support during the COVID-19 crisis by adapting and digitising many of their key services.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 9:25 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 9:26 am
Tommy McIlravey, CEO at Lancashire Mind.

The charity provides a range of mental health and wellbeing support working with individuals, schools, community groups and organisations across the county.

Lancashire Mind has changed many of its services to ensure those who access support such as wellbeing coaching, can still attend their sessions online and schools that are now closed, are regularly being sent support resources for children and young people to share across the school community.

Those who require tenancy support from the charity are receiving daily video calls and visits in line with government guidance. Lancashire Mind is managing enquiries from Social Workers, Probation Officers and Local Authorities who are looking for support and advice to help those who are at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19.

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The charity is also regularly sharing resources online to the public, via its website and social media platforms to help people across Lancashire.

Tommy McIlravey, CEO at Lancashire Mind, said: “As a mental health and wellbeing charity we recognise that people across Lancashire will need our services now more than ever so it was vital that we changed the way we worked to help others.

“Our staff have worked extremely hard to adapt many of our projects to ensure they can still take place. Government guidelines mean we aren’t able to do face-to-face meetings, training or counselling at the moment, so we are using video conferencing, telephone calls and social media to reach people.”

Tommy said: “These are unprecedented times and there may be people that are experiencing mental health conditions and wellbeing concerns or the first time, as well as those that face them every day. Almost everyone’s day to day environment has been turned upside down.

“We have a range of resources on our website to help people look after their own mental health and to support others. We'll keep adding to this page as often as possible.

“We'd like to reassure everyone who uses our services that we are committed to continuing to provide the best quality information, support, interventions and signposting - particularly for people whose mental health is affected by the outbreak.”

Like many charities, Lancashire Mind have had a reduction in their fundraising income due to the cancellation of events and fundraising activities.

Tommy said: “Our focus has been on supporting the Lancashire community during this time rather than fundraising income, but obviously we do still need to raise funds and we are grateful for anyone who has or is able to donate. Many people have adapted their events and still raised money for us.

“For example, Tony Albanese was due to run the Blackpool marathon - but decided to run the 26.2 mile challenge up and down his driveway instead. Efforts like this are heart-warming and a real morale boost to our staff.

“By being able to continue to run our services we are helping to alleviate pressure that may otherwise have fallen to an already stretched NHS. Thank you Lancashire, we’re in this together!”