Tue, 19 Jan 2021
TWO West Berkshire community groups have been awarded a share of a £20,000 NHS England grant aimed at supporting the mental health of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic and refugee communities (BAMER).
Community United and Time to Talk have both been allocated money to push forward specific projects.
The plan for Community United, which is based in Newbury, is to fund two online forums for small and medium-sized enterprise employers and their employees from BAMER communities, which will focus on their mental wellbeing.
Time to Talk aims to fund culturally sensitive engagement and counselling for young BAMER adults.
Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) secured the funding and worked closely with Volunteer Centre West Berkshire on the best ways of allocating the cash.
It is hoped the money will help the groups achieve a number of key objectives, which include improving more culturally sensitive support in accessing health and social care, raising awareness of psychological access and wellbeing within BAMER communities and providing support to BAMER carers.
Berkshire West CCG director of joint commissioning Niki Cartwright said: “People’s mental health has taken a real hit during the pandemic.
“Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show almost one in five adults were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic and one in eight developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms.
“Those who are struggling often find winter especially challenging, with the dark days and poor weather which limit their opportunities to get outside and do many of the things we know can help improve our mental health and wellbeing.
“I’m very pleased this funding has been earmarked for such a diverse range of really excellent projects.”
There is a range of other support for people with mental health problems.
NHS talking therapies is a confidential service run by fully-trained experts offering help with problems like stress, anxiety and depression. People can access the service by visiting their GP or referring themselves online or ringing 0300 365 2000.
Young people aged between 11 and 18 can visit KOOTH.com a free, anonymous and confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing support.
Those over 18 and in urgent need of help should ring NHS 111 which will direct them to the right support.
There is online support on the NHS mental health and wellbeing link at www.nhs.uk and people can also seek help by going online at NHS 111.
In emergency situations or if someone is in immediate danger, people must call 999 straight away.