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Police and Crime Commissioner funds free mental health sessions

A joint press release from Dorset Mind and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Police and Crime Commissioner funds free mental health sessions

Emergency services personnel and members of the public who experienced stress and other issues during the pandemic are to benefit from free mental health workshops.

The interactive sessions will be delivered online by Dorset Mind from 14-19 September. These will be funded by a Safer Dorset Fund COVID-19 grant, provided by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Dorset.

The charity wanted to introduce the sessions after noticing a substantial increase in issues such as anxiety, panic, grief, stress, isolation, depression and anger during the COVID-19 outbreak, among people working for blue light and frontline services as well as members of the public.

The sessions will be provided virtually by an expert practitioner and will enable people taking part to recognise symptoms of mental health problems and provide them with coping skills to support wellbeing in their daily lives.

Each session focuses on a different area, including anxiety, stress, depression, grief and loss, anger, and loneliness.

Dorset Mind's Chief Executive, Marianne Storey said: “We’re grateful to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for funding our series of mental health workshops. This funding is extremely timely as we come out of an incredibly challenging few months of lockdown.

"Even before the COVID-19 situation, evidence stated that 1 in 4 people live with a diagnosable mental health condition. Mind recently reported that the coronavirus pandemic has caused ‘a mental heath emergency.’

"As we move past COVID-19, we know that the number of people affected in Dorset is high as we’ve witnessed a considerable rise in demand for our services. The size of the problemis extremely concerning – and we don’t believe we’ve seen the worse yet.

"Those especially affected are those on the frontline - emergency service staff and key workers We believe the key is to educate people at an early stage of their concerns – before if possible. By doing so, there is a chance that we can stop small issues becoming considerable problems."

Dorset Mind patron and principal academic at Bournemouth University, Dr Andy Mayers, added: “I am delighted to see these workshops being delivered. They cover a range of crucially relevant topics that reflect the experience of many people.

"As the impact of COVID-19 continues, and the outcome and duration of this pandemic is still so uncertain, we are seeing a growth in the number of people reporting stress, anxiety, low mood, and anger. Sadly, many people have lost loved ones because of this virus, and yet most do not get support for that grief and loss.

"These free online courses will be valuable to many people at a time that they need it most. As patron for Dorset Mind I am grateful to the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner for funding this vital service."

The COVID-19 grants were set up by the OPCC to enable charities to launch projects to help Dorset residents during the lockdown period.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I’m proud to be supporting projects such as this one. Many charities have provided services which people across the county have relied on throughout the crisis or are carrying out work which will be essential as we move into the post COVID-19 world.”

Anyone who wants to take part in the sessions should register for a mental health workshop here >

For more information about the support Dorset Mind offers across Dorset, please see the Dorset Mind website here >

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