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Mind Your Head secures funding for support service

MENTAL health charity Mind Your Head will receive £300,000 of funding over the next three years to run a new support service.

Staff hope that the low-level service, which will be free and open to local people and carers, will launch in August.

Project manager Anouska Civico has been working on developing the service, and attracting funding to run it, for the last two years.

The main feature of the service will be the Wellness Programme, which will help people aged over 18 with mental wellbeing, day-to-day functioning and coping mechanisms.

In addition, the shorter-term Wellness Together Programme will focus on helping carers who are supporting people with struggling with their mental wellbeing.

Mind Your Head, which launched in 2005, currently offers information and advice, as well as raising awareness of mental health issues.

Due to pre-election purdah restrictions, sources of funding for the new service cannot be identified at this time.

“To finally see [the support service] all come together and to know first-hand what impact this will have on individuals is a great sense of achievement for the charity,” Civico said.

“The support given to Mind Your Head is overwhelming not just financially but we have had so much support in helping us to achieve this long-term goal.

“Despite the funding for the service there is still a need for the charity to raise money and for the community to help us with this so that we can continue our work raising awareness of mental health issues.”

The Wellness Programme will be time-limited to three months per person and it will offer one-to-one support alongside activities, ‘Grubby Hut’ sessions and signposting to other agencies.

The Wellness Together Programme will run for six to eight weeks per person and carers/supporters will be able to receive practical advice and lessons on being aware of their own wellbeing.

Charity chairwoman Katrina Wiseman said the service will fill a “gap in mental health service provision in Shetland”.

NHS Shetland’s mental health service has often come under fire for making patients wait too long for appointments, while its only two psychiatric doctors have just resigned.

“This is a major step change for Mind Your Head moving from an awareness raising organisation to service delivery for the community,” Wiseman said.

“Our new team of staff will help people, and their carers, who need some encouragement or advice on what they can do to support their mental wellbeing and better meet their emotional and physical needs so they are more emotionally resilient and happier.

“I am delighted to be part of the strong committed committee responsible for Mind Your Head, and we have now set up as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation to allow us to take this new service forward.

“We have an exciting year ahead as we hope to have appointed a service manager by the end of May, the remainder of staff by the end of June, and to begin service delivery in August.”

To find out more about the position of service manager go to the Shetland News jobs page at www.shetnews.co.uk/jobs/