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Posted 30 June 2020

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Local mental health support on the up

Since the beginning of March, when lock down hit the UK, Our mental health and wellbeing project has seen a spike in demand for its service.

Ongo Talk is a free service for people who want to improve their mental health, emotional well-being and create a brighter future through counselling, workshops, one to one support and training.

After facing the challenges brought by covid-19 with new ways of working and face to face appointments being too unsafe to carry out, in the months of April and May the team supported 54 client in just phone counselling alone.  

An additional 110 clients were then contacted to make sure support was put in place, including counselling, coaching, MindWorks courses over zoom, as well as regular emotional check-ins with a support coach.

Through safe and well calls to our tenants and referrals from internal teams, even more people have been referred to the tea, which in some cases has been vital for those living alone with no other support.

Nichola Johnson, Ongo talk Manager said: “The help and support we provide is critical to the local area, so we’ve had to think outside the box and provide the best service we can to make sure we’re still there for those who need us most.

“We’ve liaised with other support teams that help with food, bills and money worries as well as the crisis team and community mental health workers. One of our volunteers even visited her client at a safe distance just to give her PPE, as this was causing lots of worry.

“I’m very proud of the work we do and know how much of a difference we make, but we’d also urge everyone to please look out for each other’s mental health and check on your loved ones through these difficult times.”

Many people supported by the Ongo Talk team have expressed feelings of being isolated and struggling with their mental health and stress levels, with referrals expected to increase over the coming months.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from the service, please get in touch with the team. To find out more, go to: ongo.co.uk/ongotalk

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